Benton, Linn mull ways to get access to Kotek’s emergency homeless funds

From the Albany Democrat-Herald:

Benton County became the first of three neighboring governments to formally ask for inclusion in Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek’s executive order declaring a statewide emergency over homelessness.

Oregon freed up $40 million to find housing for some of the state’s thousands who live without permanent shelter when Kotek made the emergency declaration Jan. 10.

But Benton, Linn and Lincoln counties weren’t included in the governor’s response to what she called a “man-made disaster” because the state housing authority lumps the counties’ unhoused populations together with 23 others, skewing mid-Willamette Valley numbers.

Commissioners implored the governor to consider including the region where homelessness has increased by an estimated 89% since the end of 2017, according to the response adopted and emailed by Benton County’s elected board on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

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