Housing and Homelessness
This is why I have made expanding housing opportunities my top priority during my time in office. Without an adequate supply of housing for working people, our economy suffers. Business owners have repeatedly told me tell me again and again that housing cost and availability is one of their prime barriers to recruiting and retaining employees.
Without safe and stable housing, children’s health and school performance suffers. People without adequate shelter are more likely to end up in local emergency rooms or in the county jail. Homelessness is a huge burden to communities as well as a tragedy for those living in it.
Over the last thirty years, I’ve worked as a volunteer board member to help build Lincoln County Food Share, My Sisters’ Place and Samaritan House as effective, compassionate local responses to poverty and homelessness.
As a commissioner, I supported and worked to acquire four transitional homes for people leaving jail or prison. Stable housing has long been the number one barrier for people successfully re-entering society.
When one-time state funds were available for creation of supportive housing, I was the catalyst for acquisition of two apartment complexes that provide long-term shelter for eight individuals and ten families.
Through my service on various boards, committees and task forces, I’ve worked to help funnel millions of dollars locally and around the state into emergency resources for those in crisis, and millions more to construct new housing. Two examples of this locally are the 21-unit Fisterra Gardens Townhomes in Yachats and the 110-unit Surf View Village project under construction in Newport.
In 2007, I created the Lincoln Community Land Trust (LCLT) to provide home -buying opportunities for families not income-eligible for other housing programs. The LCLT has since merged into a Portland-based land trust, Proud Ground. We own five land trust homes in Lincoln County so far, with more in the pipeline.
Governor Brown named me to the state’s key housing policy group, the Housing Stability Council, and there I’ve been a consistent voice for the needs of Lincoln County, the coast, and all rural Oregon.