The Oregon Housing and Community Services agency is an organization that works toward getting affordable housing for Oregon residents in need. They had set forth a goal a while ago to provide 25,000 homes to people by 2024. By early August of this year, 2023, they had already met that goal.
Housing has been a large concern for Oregon residents for quite some time now. There was a housing shortage, and many were left with unknown and worrisome futures, but thanks to the work of the Oregon Housing and Community Services agency, most of the concerns are over.
The goal for 25,000 affordable homes going to Oregonians was known by the name of the Statewide Housing Plan.
Andrea Bell, the director of the Oregon Housing and Community Services, released a statement where she spoke on the impact that they knew would come by accomplishing this goal. They fully expected lives to change with the offer of more housing and used that as a motivator. The organization always kept the families and individuals who would get safe and secure housing at the forefront of their brains when working toward their goal. According to Bell, they “centered equity in every step and launched innovative ways of doing business” in order to meet the Statewide Housing Plan.
The innovative ways that OHCS operated varied depending on what stage they were at in getting the housing. One example of their creative nature happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of their partners faced higher costs of construction than expected. In order to combat these high prices, OHCS offered a “cost offset” financing plan. This allowed the construction to continue unstopped.
The quick reactive nature of OHCS allows them to shatter and overcome obstacles easily.
OHCS was not only able to meet the Statewide Housing Plan’s goal of 25,000 homes, but they also established 2,500 homes in rural areas of the state. This was a separate goal that they had to help offset the lack of housing in rural parts of the state. They worked toward accomplishing this goal within five years.
Even after meeting these goals, the Oregon Housing and Community Services agency is not done yet. They are continuing their work on providing even more affordable and permanent housing, They also are working toward making the Oregon state government take accountability for the housing crisis and step up to play their part as well in creating solutions.