The Oregon Community Foundation announced July 10 it had completed the second round of helping nonprofits buy up cheap hotels around the state to use as shelters and transitional housing.
State Rep. Pam Marsh (D-Ashland) was among those who pioneered the program in 2020, after devastating fires left thousands homeless in her district. In order to move quickly, lawmakers appropriated money to OCF, which since then has worked with nonprofits across the state to acquire 32 properties that added 1,384 units at a total cost of $125 million.
That’s $90,000 per door, or less than a quarter of what the Portland Housing Bureau and other local agencies routinely pay for affordable housing projects, which can also take years to complete.
“This achievement demonstrates what’s possible when the state and private partners work together to solve urgent needs in our communities,” Gov. Tina Kotek said.
“It’s tremendously satisfying and thrilling, and I’m so grateful we were given the chance to do it,” says Marsh, who adds that the state needs to continue to look for innovative ways to produce more housing quickly.