PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As the City of Portland has struggled to distribute free air conditioning units to low-income households, the state now says it is out of units and is not sure when more will arrive.
The AC units come from state and city funding to avoid more heat deaths like those of the 2021 heat dome.
KOIN 6 News saw some of the last of the 1,000 taxpayer-funded units heading out to low-income families on Thursday. Now, as hundreds of people remain on waitlists for the units, some of the non-profits that are helping distribute them have stopped taking names.
When KOIN 6 News found out there were veterans in need of units, we connected them with a service organization helping a non-profit that still had some units to give out.
A woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, told KOIN 6 News she picked up one of the AC units for her mother, “she has really high blood pressure that sometimes rises with the heat. So, it’s just going to be so helpful because she’s going to be comfortable”
The City of Portland hired contractor Earth Advantage to buy and distribute 3,000 units this summer; however, hundreds of units are in warehouses as non-profits are short staff to distribute the units.
KOIN 6 News has also been following another non-profit that has run out of units. The non-profit said they would like to help install more units but are still facing red tape.
Extreme heat is expected in the forecast through the weekend.