The City of Portland and the Oregon Department of Transportation have reached an agreement that will allow city officials to clear homeless camps set up along state highways and under overpasses in the Portland metro area.
The state legislature passed a law that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, that will allow the city and state to work together to clear camps under an intergovernmental agreement. In many cases, local officials are better equipped to help connect people with needed services like shelters and affordable housing. The partnership will also make clearing camps that exist on neighboring city and state property more streamlined.
Under the agreement that Portland City Council approved Dec. 19, officials will give people at least 48 hours notice, and up to 10 days notice, to move from ODOT property. That timeframe will significantly speed the process of sweeping encampments on ODOT property.
"We will continue to work with the city to ensure this partnership leads to improved coordination, a higher level of consistency and improved livability for the community and our houseless individuals in need," Ted Miller, an ODOT regional maintenance and operations manager said in a statement.
Previously, camps on city property could be cleared in as little as 24 hours and seven days. Those on ODOT property would get at least 10 days notice, but ODOT officials could wait as many as 19 days to initiate a sweep after giving notice.
ODOT will reimburse the city for up to $2 million in costs each year to clear tents, property and garbage from ODOT property.