In 2021, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 5561 with funding to help cities address housing insecurity, lack of affordable housing, or homelessness and allocated $1 million each to several cities, including the City of Eugene.
In alignment with Eugene’s Housing Implementation Pipeline (HIP), the City is using this unique and flexible funding to support urgent needs across the housing continuum. These projects have no other identified source of funding and will boost City efforts to preserve and create affordable housing and shelter over the next year.
Permanent supportive housing services - $500,000
The bulk of the funding will go towards critical supportive services for residents of The Nel, a new 45-unit permanent supportive housing development for people experiencing homelessness. The Nel opened in August 2022. The funds will be used to enable The Nel to pay for staffing and provide necessary ongoing supportive services to residents who are exiting homelessness.
Shelter site improvements - $250,000
Based on input from service providers across the City’s alternative shelter network, grant funds will enable infrastructure improvements at City shelter sites. Eugene’s alternative shelter network accommodates more the 460 people and includes Rest Stops, as well as vehicle and camping Safe Sleep sites. These sites provide safe and healthy shelter and allow residents to connect with services. Improvements will include enhancing heating options for shelters, adding electricity to common spaces, upgrading water provision and grey water removal, and upgrades to fences and pathways at all sites.
Land acquisition for future affordable housing - $200,000
A frequent barrier to the creation of affordable housing is finding suitable and usable land. The City’s nationally recognized land acquisition program is critical to addressing this on-going need by acquiring and preparing land to be development ready for affordable housing. Grant funds will support the purchase of land in the next year for future affordable housing.
Affordable housing preservation inventory - $50,000
The HIP and related anti-displacement work outlines the need to preserve existing affordable housing. This commonsense approach to housing affordability is under-supported by most existing programs and processes. Grant funds are supporting groundwork for the preservation of naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH). In partnership with the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research and Engagement, the City is conducting an inventory and assessment of existing multi-family units and needs (expected to be complete by March 2023).