PORTLAND, Ore. – The city of Portland has voted to extend its housing emergency declaration for one year.
The city council voted unanimously to a one-year extension Wednesday, which is shorter than the three-year extension originally proposed by Mayor Charlie Hales. It allows the city to waive some zoning codes, open emergency shelters in city-owned buildings, and work more quickly with county and state agencies.
Portland first approved the housing emergency in October 2015. Since then, the city has committed millions to combating homelessness and creating more affordable housing, but not as much as it originally promised.
The housing emergency does not cap how much landlords can raise rent on tenants, despite demonstrators at the council meeting calling for a rent freeze. It also does not impact the homeless sweep of the Springwater Corridor, which started Sept. 1.
About 600 people currently staying on the trail are being cleared out during the month of September with few places to go, as Portland’s shelters are full. The mayor’s office said it has not identified alternative places for the homeless to stay.