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Jan-13-2022 15:36printcomments

Oregon Legislature Takes on Houseless Issue in Capitol City

Rep. Hoy filed two Bills to address critical local funding & houseless needs for city of Salem

homeless
Photo: Bonnie King, Salem-News.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - Recently appointed state Representative Chris Hoy (D-Salem) filed two Legislative Concepts today to help address the growing houselessness needs for City of Salem residents and to bring much-needed funding for the city’s public safety services.

Right now, Salem faces a shelter shortage. Shelters provide stability, community, and resources to people experiencing houselessness.

House Bill 4037 would require the Department of Administrative Services to work with the city to fast track the siting and implementation of micro shelter communities on underutilized state land.

“There’s nothing more important to me than working to house all Oregonians, regardless of their circumstances, said Rep. Hoy.

“We have micro shelters ready to go but we need locations to put these shelters. Leaving people on the streets when we don’t have to is unconscionable.

"Shelters with wraparound services are one of the most effect tools we have to get people the support they need to transition to a permanent residence.”

House Bill 4036 seeks to address the impact of state-owned land within city limits that the state pays no property taxes on.

If these locations were privately owned, the city would collect approximately $5 million dollars per year in taxes that could go toward investments in Salem’s growing community. While these locations (Oregon State Hospital, the State Capitol, Oregon State Penitentiary, etc.) don't pay taxes to the city, they do create a burden on local public safety services resulting in the cost falling squarely on local residents.

“Our local public safety services are strained. Between Covid, the heat dome and ice storm, in addition to the fallout from unprecedented wildfires just East of the city.

"We need to ask the state to pay their fair share. I’m incredibly proud of our capital city and of the state employees here in Salem, who I represent,” finished Hoy.

Source: News release: OREGON HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES/State Representative Chris Hoy

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