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Photo: BuildUp Oregon
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 22 April 2024

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) and BuildUp Oregon announce the launch of the OHCS Co-location Fund aimed at expanding access to early childhood education and affordable housing across Oregon.

“Families face a pile of cost burdens that limit their access to afford housing, and one of these burdens is the high cost of early childcare. These investments set out to change the trajectory for Oregon families, allowing for increased stability and a better quality of life,” says OHCS Director Andrea Bell.

BuildUp Oregon will administer the $10 million in OHCS funds allocated by the Oregon legislature through House Bill 5011 to support co-locating early care and education (ECE) facilities with affordable housing.

These resources will help bring affordable housing developers and ECE providers together to open and expand childcare services within or on the grounds of affordable housing developments. The funding awarded will depend on each project's needs, size, and costs.

Funds provided through BuildUp Oregon can be used for:

  • Technical assistance to ECE providers and affordable housing developers on how to co-locate
  • Relationship building between ECE providers and housing developers to identify potential collaboration opportunities and facilitate communication
  • Financial support to ECE providers and developers to build or expand operations within or adjacent to affordable housing developments

The goal of the OHCS Co-location Fund is to create or preserve 600 ECE slots throughout Oregon.

OHCS is a funding partner with Multnomah County for the BuildUp Oregon program. Earlier this month, Multnomah County launched the Preschool for All Facilities Fund. That fund offers comprehensive support to early care and education providers in Multnomah County participating in Preschool for All who are looking to enhance the quality of care at existing facilities, expand to serve additional families or open a new location.

"The facilities fund will provide crucial support to early care and education providers and help build up the infrastructure we need to ensure universal access to preschool by 2030," said Preschool and Early Learning Division Director Leslee Barnes. "This initiative represents a vital step towards all children having access to high-quality childcare in safe and nurturing environments."

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