Lake County team chosen for Supportive Housing Institute

Information from Oregon Housing and Community Services

A team from Lake County has been chosen to join the Oregon Supportive Housing Institute.

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS), in consultation with the Corporation for Supportive Housing, created the Oregon Supportive Housing Institute to provide technical assistance and training to a cohort of ten groups focused specifically on permanent supportive housing development. Ten teams were selected out of the 29 applications received, demonstrating the high demand for permanent supportive housing.

Lake County’s team includes Lake Health District, which is working with Klamath Housing Authority to create permanent supportive housing units in Lakeview to serve chronically homeless populations. Other community partners include Lake County Community Justice, Lake County Veterans Service Office, and Oregon Department of Human Services.

One of six priorities identified in Oregon's Statewide Housing Plan, permanent supportive housing provides service-enriched affordable housing to help vulnerable individuals and families lead more stable lives. This is a national model and best practice for serving individuals living with a serious persistent mental illness and people experiencing chronic homelessness. Permanent supportive housing leads to cost savings in public systems by providing upfront intervention that creates savings downstream in the healthcare and justice systems.

 "Too many of our community members are struggling to find and maintain housing," said OHCS Director Margaret Salazar. Permanent supportive housing "is a proven model that changes lives to break the cycle of homelessness. This is a first step for us to implement this model in Oregon."  

The Oregon Supportive Housing Institute will run from November to March with monthly two-day classes. Participates will receive individualized support in project planning, including a specialized supportive services plan, operating procedures, and permanent supportive housing team development.

The cohort teams represent a diverse mix of urban and rural areas. The Institute provides a pathway for OHCS and partners to achieve the ambitious goal of 1,000 units of permanent supportive housing over the next five years to implement the Statewide Housing Plan.

Participants in the Institute will receive preference when applying for permanent supportive housing development funds. OHCS received $50 million in the 2019 Legislative Session for the creation of PSH homes. The Oregon Health Authority received $5.4 million for operations and supportive services.

In addition to Lake Health District and its partners, the following organizations were chosen to join the Institute: 

  1. Home Forward is creating a permanent supportive housing development in Portland's Kenton neighborhood to serve chronically homeless populations.

  2. Native American Youth and Family Center, working with Native American Rehabilitation Center of the Northwest, Housing Development Center, and Income Property Management Company, will create permanent supportive housing within an existing affordable housing community in Portland's St Johns neighborhood to serve chronically homeless populations.

  3. Homes for Good Housing Agency is partnering with Lane County Health and Human Services, ShelterCare, and Quantum Residential to create permanent supportive housing in Eugene to serve chronically homeless populations.

  4. Northwest Housing Alternatives, working with Northwest Pilot Project and Income Property Management, is creating permanent supportive housing in existing Proud Ground affordable housing in North Portland to serve seniors and chronically homeless populations.

  5. NeighborWorks Umpqua, Housing Authority of Douglas County, Adapt, and United Community Action Network are working together to create a permanent supportive housing development in Roseburg to serve chronically homeless populations.

  6. ColumbiaCare Services Inc., with the support of the City of Ashland, Jackson County, Housing Authority of Jackson County, and the Oregon Health Authority, is building a permanent supportive housing development in Ashland to serve chronically homeless populations, particularly those living with serious mental illness.

  7. Community Development Partners is working with JOIN and Guardian Management to develop new permanent supportive housing and create supported housing in existing affordable housing in Portland to serve chronically homeless populations.

  8. Housing Authority of Clackamas County (HACC), with the support of Metro and Clackamas County, is creating permanent supportive housing in an existing housing development in Gladstone to serve chronically homeless populations. HACC recently acquired the development.

  9. Warm Springs Housing Authority and Behavioral Health Center are working together to create permanent supportive housing in Warm Springs to serve chronically homeless populations.