The Feds Created Emergency Housing Vouchers in May. Portland is Failing to Use Them.

Portland-area public housing authority Home Forward continues to lag badly behind other West Coast cities when it comes to deploying the federal emergency housing vouchers Congress issued in May to pay rent for people who were homeless or on the verge becoming so.

At the time, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who fought to include the vouchers in a federal bailout package, said he hoped the vouchers would keep “vulnerable Oregonians safe and housed.”

Wyden’s wishes came true, but only in part: Clackamas County has secured leases with each of the 41 vouchers it received, a 100% success rate, while Washington County has secured leases for 56 of the 89 vouchers it received (63%).

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