‘A man-made disaster’: Oregon’s new governor tackles housing

Oregon Democratic Gov., Tina Kotek, will focus on affordable housing and combatting homelessness. Learn more here.

By CLAIRE RUSH/Associated Press/Report for America

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s newly sworn-in Democratic Gov. Tina Kotek signed three executive orders intended to combat homelessness on her first full day in office Tuesday, a sign of how critical the shortage of affordable housing has become in the state and across the nation.

The orders call for boosting construction and marshaling resources to help the nearly 18,000 people living outside in Oregon.

Advocates welcomed the measures. But they said that shoring up mental health and addiction services must also occur in order to help people move off the street.

Just last year, Oregon lawmakers passed a spending package that included $400 million to address homelessness and housing. But soaring inflation, rising rents and a spiraling drug addiction crisis have meant that that money hasn’t gone as far as it needs to in reducing the state’s homeless population.

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