Re: overview of local homelessness programs, from Portland / Multnomah County

Donna Cohen

Trena, the legislature passed a “rent stabilization” bill a couple of years ago [2019?] that allowed increases of 7% plus COLA, I think. Something like that.


The idea was to keep landlords from upping rents 20, 30, 40% and more, which has happened, not infrequently.


I know it’s a far cry from what we’d like to see but it was a help and the best they could do, given opposition. In fact, it’s the only state-wide rent stabilization law in the country.




Donna L Cohen, MLIS, MEd

Portland, Oregon



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From: <> On Behalf Of Trena Sutton
Sent: Friday, July 17, 2020 3:42 PM
Subject: Re: [pdxshelterforum] overview of local homelessness programs, from Portland / Multnomah County


Good afternoon,


Just an inquiry does the Joint Office monitor the Affordable Housing Units administered by different agencies such as Cascadia or PCRI? I’m specifically interested in rent increases every year? An example is a rent of 9.6% increase when Social Security COLA was 1.6 in 2020. At that rate the average person will be unable to afford an  “Affordable” Unit in 3 years without a housing subsidy.


Thank you for your time,





On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 3:07 PM Denis Theriault <denis.theriault@...> wrote:

Hi, Godfrey 


Denis here, from the Joint Office. Thank you for sharing the presentation from June 16 and additional context/info with the wider group. I also appreciate that you've mentioned the work around how to invest revenues from Measure 26-210. Last week, we posted a community letter from Marc Jolin on what's next under Metro's requirements that each of the three counties create a Local Implementation Plan. That letter includes a contact form that neighbors can fill out if they'd like to receive updates on the planning work — or even get involved more directly in the community engagement opportunities that Metro and the County will require.


It's here — — and can be shared with any and all who are interested. 




Denis Theriault (pronouns: him/he/his)

Communications coordinator

Multnomah County

A Home for Everyone | Joint Office of Homeless Services

c. 510.875.8546



On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 1:04 PM Godfrey Merrill <godfrey.merrill@...> wrote:

External -

External Sender

this group has many ideas about alternative and proposed responses to homelessness in Portland.  What is the City / Multnomah County doing about it now, though, that these ideas might be alternative to?

To help give us a baseline, here's a fairly up-to-date, though possibly draft form, 17-slide presentation on that point, which was given at a June 16 online meeting of North Portland group of Neighborhood Associations. PDF 4.5MB. 

The presentation focuses on shelter and assistance operations, though I think the actual agencies do much in and focus much on rent assistance in part intended to prevent homelessness, not really mentioned here. One of the presenters, Denis Theriault, argued during the event discussion that this preventative activity was better than building more shelter. 

kind of a summary slide: 

The listed authors/presenters are:

  • Denis Theriault, Joint Office of Homeless Services - PR guy for JOHS. 
  • Seraphie Allen, Office of Mayor Wheeler - homelessness policy lead for Ted? such as there is.
  • Zach Kearl, Office of Mayor Wheeler - intern, or 'Fellow'. 

I have rescued the presentation from it's original Powerpoint doc form, into PDF, to make it usable by us reg'lur folk working in a 21st-century manner, vs the unfortunate Microsoft Office corporate/govt users out there stuck in the 1990s who might actually have Microsoft Powerpoint installed somewhere to open that.

For those of still learning the landscape, which is all of us since it's ever-changing and infinite in detail:

  1. Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS) is a joint agency of the City of Portland and Multnomah County, which oversees much of the funding and programs in this area.
  2. JOHS in turn is a key part of a larger govt/provider coalition for the area which is call A Home For Everyone (AHFE), which in Federal jargon, is the "Continuum of Care" org for this area, i.e. designated administrator of Federal homelessness funding. The head of JOHS is Marc Jolin. 
  3. AFHE is sort of the presumed, at least self-presumed, lead administrator for Multnomah County's part of the recently passed Metro Measure 26-210, Supportive Housing Services tax measure. This is planned to generate as much as $250M/year for at least ten years, renewable. 

So, though we don't live or build by bread alone, basically that's where much of the money is now, and the people deciding where it goes. 

in the struggle, 

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