House Bill 2100 is the latest legislation to commission a state task force to study housing laws and make recommendations to lawmakers while upending the state’s funding streams.
Under an amended version, the bill would redirect 25% of the state’s emergency housing fund towards housing homeless veterans. Another 20% would pay for closing the state’s racial housing inequities by supporting culturally-specific programs for families of color, effective July 1, 2022.
Martha Lyon, executive director of the Community Services Consortium, a social services provider serving Linn, Benton, and Lincoln Counties, shared others’ excitement about the bill’s state task force on Tuesday. She said further that the bill risks pitting homeless services against one another and ignores the diverse housing programs already working with minorities in the state.
“Moving to to carve out that 20% without fully understanding what that does to the whole pot would be a disaster,” Lyon told the House Committee on Housing. “Our point is, let’s grow the pot. Let’s get more people talking about how to use the pot more effectively.”
Many testifying on Tuesday shared Lyon’s opinion that the state should not be locking in housing programs at set rates. Others shared concern about dumping too much cash onto small organizations without the resources to efficiently spend it.
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