Re: Action Alert: 4pm Deadline Today to Sign S2HC Advocacy Letter

Tim McCormick

I would differ from Sean's proposal, in the joint letter draft as it stands, to defer passing Shelter to Housing Continuum (S2HC) program from the current April goal. Also generally I favor taking any suggestions as far as possible to concrete, plausible amendments. This is what the Commission can do, amend the proposal, they can use help getting any such drafted.

As I see it, asking to defer S2HC this would be asking the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability and the Planning and Sustainability Commission to not carry out the duty City Council asked them to perform: to prepare a S2HC reform package before the April 1 2020 [1st? 15th?] expiration of current Housing State of Emergency. The appropriate object of advocacy for deferring it would be City Council, which alone can enact or defer the package. I could see PSC possibly recommending to them some type of continuation or later phase of the process, but can't see them declining to pass a reform package by April. 

Also open question, what could or would we do, given more time by deferring of S2HC, that we can't do now?  ("If not here, where? If not now, when?" my ShelterPDX slogan). 

I'd suggest articulating what provisions we might *want* to achieve were the process extended, and consider how they might be pursued a) now, or b) after an S2HC passed in April. There would be some advantages to having current proposal passed then, e.g. sooner removing uncertainty about siting mobile dwellings on residential lots. Could we propose these 'wants' now as amendments? 

Could we get PSC commissioners to advise the city to pursue certain other items in follow-up ordinances? Could S2HC be amended to require an evaluation of its efficacy and sufficiency after, say, one year, and suggest goals against which it would need to be evaluated? 

I imagine a case such as, S2HC passing with the proposed exclusion of shelters from all residential lots; then, the moral conscience of the city belatedly awakening to this blatant exclusionary zoning and denial of resident rights/status to the houseless. Would it be implausible, or insurmountable, for City Council to pass an ordinance directing BPS to revise municipal code Title 33 as needed to change this, and then it approving the revised code? 

BPS obviously preferred to bundle a wide set of issues into one 'project', but we might ask, what interests did that serve, really? I've heard many people say they felt it was impossible to sort through the 100s of pages of detailed, interlocking provisions, or consider the possible impacts, and I've heard highly experienced PSC commissioners say that they didn't until last week notice crucial items in the proposal, such as it's ending of the city's Housing State of Emergency declaration process.

By contrast, an advocacy effort focused specifically on something like the exclusionary zoning of S2HC could bring this item out of the thickets of code where it was kind of sliding by amid 100 diverting other matters.

Tim McCormick
Moderator, PDX Shelter Forum; Editor at HousingWiki
Portland, Oregon 

On Mon, Dec 21, 2020 at 6:05 AM Sean Green <green@...> wrote:
The deadline to submit testimony on the S2HC Proposed Draft is today at 5pm. You can sign onto the S2HC Proposed Draft Advocacy Letter by completing a simple form here
You can also submit your own testimony through the Portland Map App here

More information on the S2HC project can be found on the BPS website here and in our project document here


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