The new 2013-14 proposed budget from the City of Portland is out.
The Portland Housing Bureau, which oversees a myriad of housing and homeless services, is facing a $1 million dollar cut from the city budget and an additional $1.2 million dollar cut from the federal government, totaling $2.3 million dollars.
Mayor Charlie Hales directed all city bureaus to develop a budget proposal equal to 90% of their current General Fund budget. Bureaus also had the opportunity to submit “Add Packages” (see below) equal to the 10% General Fund reduction.
The cuts are brutal for people experiencing poverty. The following programs and services have the potential to either be cut or eliminated:
- Eliminate winter shelter at the Clark Center, a 90-bed shelter for men that serves 700 people annually
- Reduce youth and others shelter support by $100,000
- Eliminate winter recuperative care, a program that works with people experiencing homelessness who are coming out of the hospital
- Reduce short-term rent assistance by nearly $100,000
- Reduce mental health outreach, family rent assistance, alcohol and drug treatment by $200,000
- Eliminate programs at 211info and the Oregon Community Warehouse, including Housing Connections ($215,000)
- Reduce support to the Bud Clark Commons drop-in by $27,000
- Homebuyer education homeownership fairs by nearly $50,000
- Reduce homeownership retention by $80,000
- Reduce the Rose City Resource Guide by $3,000 (The city currently gives Street Roots $30,000 to produce the guide.)
The bureau is requesting that the following programs by included in the “Add Back Package.” This package includes $1.1 million dollars in funding that is at risk:
- Restore funding to keep the 90 bed men's Clark Center Shelter open
- Programs that provide winter Recuperation Care, winter shelter and the youth shelter.
- Programs that support permanent housing outreach, placement, services and stabilization for vulnerable people. Programs include mental health outreach and housing placement, street outreach, housing placement and retention, Alcohol and Drug Free Communities, family rent assistance, Rose City Resource Guide, Rent Well, youth transitional housing, and Community Engagement Program.
- Programs that build the pipeline of potential homebuyers from communities of color and help homeowners retain their home.
The following programs face permanent cuts at the housing bureau:
- Prevention: Reduce Short Term Rent Assistance, $97,890
- Supportive Housing: Bud Clark Commons Permanent Supportive Housing, $27,000
- Supportive Housing: Reduce funding for Bridgeview by 5%, $23,860
- Homeownership Education and Foreclosure Prevention: Eliminate Homebuyer Retention Program funding for citywide program expansion, $46,609
- Homeownership Education and Foreclosure Prevention: Eliminate Homebuyer Fairs, $8,000
- Emergency Services: Reduce shelters by 5%, $108,490
- Access: Eliminate funding for Oregon Community Warehouse, $23,500
- Access: Eliminate funding for Shared Housing program, $89,000
- Access: Reduce Rent Well Administration funding by 50%, $33,273
- Access: Eliminate support of Housing Connections website, $30,000
Look for more in-depth coverage from Street Roots.