Re: Letter Ask City Council to Extend Housing Emergency & Delay Final Vote on S2HC

Tommy Kiser

I assume this is because the ammendments put forward by this group previously were not considered or implemented into the current draft right? This is the list copy pasted from past notes on the website.

FWIW, I’ve shared this letter with others who have also asked for more details on why this group is endorsing the delay. If the organizers could validate or correct my assumption here, that would be helpful to those of us who haven’t been in all the meetings. Thanks!




Actions and amendments proposed by Portland: Neighbors Welcome:

  1. Extend the Housing Emergency at least until the end of the declared public health emergency, plus six months to help ensure a safe transition back to some version of normal. Although the Shelter to Housing Continuum will make huge strides in codifying the best tools of the Housing Emergency, it is designed for long-term thinking, not an emergency and removes some important tools while the real-world emergency continues.
    1. Limiting properties to 1 RV or tiny home on wheels per site may make sense for the long term but some sites are currently hosting more than one, and it would be tragic to upend these stable situations during a public health crisis.
    2. [Note: The Housing State of Emergency is not currently being considered by Portland City Council as part of S2HC but is due to expire in April, and will require action by City Council to renew soon.]
  2. Allow sanctioned Outdoor Shelters in appropriate, approved sites in Open Space zones and in the right-of-way (ROW). Nobody expects outdoor shelters to be sited in parks or sensitive natural areas, but Open Space zones extend beyond that. We ask the City to remove the blanket ban on sanctioned shelters in Open Space Zones and the ROW and allow small sanctioned shelters in specific sites, if approved by a vote of City Council. Open Space Zones covers enough viable territory that, if the community identifies an appropriate place, City Council should be able to approve it without going through an onerous rezoning process. Otherwise, the City will be taking good sites off the table and limiting our ability to respond to the crisis.
    1. For example, Right 2 Dream Too is technically in the ROW, which could be forbidden by the current language in Volume 3. We should not evict R2DToo.
    2. There are currently Portlanders living in an Open Space zone right next to the Hygiene4All Hygiene Hub under the Morrison Bridge on MLK that is not a sensitive natural area nor a park. This is one example of public land zoned OS that we may want to consider for an Outdoor Shelter. Other examples included publicly owned parking lots or ROW.
    3. These are just two of many examples of potential adverse effects of removing Open Space zones or ROW from siting options.
  3. Reduce time and cost for setting up Outdoor Shelters. Currently, conditional-use permit fees can cost over $20,000 in land-use fees per application, and often far more in professional services fees. These fees require six months or more to have a decision rendered. Conditional use permit requirements can act as a functional ban on siting shelters and they are rightly waived in many zones under Shelter to Housing. We believe they should also be waived in narrow, appropriate circumstances in residential and Open Space zones. To solve our housing crisis, we need the ability to use every tool, and the right tools, and not take viable sites off the table through arduous conditional use processes.
    1. In low-density zones, we recommend allowing churches, faith-based organizations, and other community-based organizations to host sanctioned shelters without conditional use review if they are below 20 accommodations on site. This is aligned with Expanding Opportunities for Affordable Housing, which Council passed last year to partner with community-based organizations to address the housing crisis. Exempting churches and nonprofit organizations from costly and long conditional-use reviews on their sites will speed providing shelter to our most vulnerable populations.
    2. Any site in an Open Space zone that is approved by a City Council vote for a sanction shelter with 20 or fewer accommodations should not require conditional-use review.
  4. Don’t undermine existing vehicle dwellings. Do not require vehicle dwelling to have sewer connections, which would make many existing dwellings illegal or prohibitively expensive ($10-20k per connection). Adopt alternative best-practice sanitation solutions, such as establishing dumping sites, a mobile street team, or a pumping service such as those used for portable toilets, as Eugene does.

On Mar 30, 2021, at 1:57 PM, Larry McCool via <mysticllamafarm@...> wrote:

Not sure but seems groups have vested interests that might conflict with the main goal of providing secure but affordable shelter. Some of the plans proposed are so far out there when it comes to affordability. You can't spend your way out of this crisis. 

On Tue, Mar 30, 2021 at 12:57 PM, Elise Aymer
<elise@...> wrote:
The PDX Shelter Forum organizers/facilitators. Sean who posted is one of them. Tim McCormick, another. 

They've been great about putting together issues-based letters that we can sign, as events warrant. Collective efforts often get more of a result. 

You can read the letter and decide whether you agree or not and then sign or not. There is more information on the PDX Shelter Forum here:

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