Lincoln County Homeless Advisory Board
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April 6, 2023 – The Lincoln County Homeless Response Advisory Board was formally established this week, forming a regional entity composed of representatives from Lincoln County, the Cities of Depoe Bay, Lincoln City, Newport, Siletz, Toledo, Waldport, and Yachats, Community Services Consortium, and the Confederated Tribes.
This initiative was made possible through actions from the 2022 Legislature with the passage of HB 4123 to establish locally led, regional housing coordination through eight pilots across the state. Lincoln County was awarded $1 million in state funding to operationalize coordinated offices, anchored by city-county partnerships, to strengthen their communities’ homeless response. These pilots are intended leverage and coordinate existing work in the community and identify gaps in partnership with existing service providers.
The funding received is tied directly to several specific goals. The first being to hire a consultant to guide the municipalities in the creation of a mandatory five-year strategic plan to address regional homelessness. The second being the creation of the administrative office supporting the Homeless Response Advisory Board. Both of those initial goals were completed through a comprehensive and publicly noticed Request for Proposal process.
Lincoln County entered into an agreement with Morant McLeod to lead the strategic planning efforts, and the Housing Authority of Lincoln County has been selected as the administrative offices for the Advisory Board.
The grant contract states that additional funding can be used towards the solutions developed out of the strategic plan and in concert with the budget documents created from that plan. The Homeless Response Advisory Board is not a direct funder, but will be making recommendations for funding to Lincoln County after the strategic planning process is complete.
The funding supplied by the state in the Pilot HB 4123 grant is not for emergency relief, but for an intentional planning process that will lead to systemic regional change. Lincoln County (with the assistance of participants from the Homeless Advisory Board) declared a homelessness state of emergency on March 8, 2023, and requested the Governor to consider adding our County to the State’s Emergency Declaration. This was done with the hopes for securing emergency funding for immediate distribution. This request was denied, however the Governor has emphasized that additional funds will be made available for the Rural counties that did not receive the emergency assistance.
Many people are working simultaneously on this issue seeking funds to support the many service providers through Lincoln County that are working on sheltering and affordable housing. Organizations will be made aware of future opportunities through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and that will be distributed through the appropriate funder(s).
A website has been launched to serve as the central point of information for the community and Advisory Board members at www.lchab.org
Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Public is invited to attend. Remote access is available.
For more information contact:
Tim Johnson, County Administrator
Karen Rockwell, Executive Director
Housing Authority of Lincoln County