Our unhoused neighbors deserve a safe and clean place to sleep published March 28, 2021 on OregonLive The Oregonian.Citizen activist Candace Avalos makes some excellent points in her recent column,
I suspect, without realizing it, Avalos has made two very profound statements regarding Public Housing, which includes the homeless, when she wrote: Having a safe and clean place to lay your head at night is a basic need that we all deserve … We need to have sites throughout the city’s 95 neighborhoods, not just in those that lack sway with politicians.
“A basic need that we all deserve.”
"It is implicit within “deserve” that some or many are obliged to provide what is deserved. In this case the what is “deserved” is PUBLIC HOUSING*. Bravo Candace. We expect in the future you will be testifying that government is obliged to provide what is deserved, namely PUBLIC HOUSING. There will be many who will disagree with you so you need to be very clear and loud and repetitious. PUBLIC HOUSING must be recognized for what it is* and governments must do all they can to provide, “a basic need that we all deserve.”
“We need to have sites throughout the city’s 95 neighborhoods” This is called Equitable Distribution of Public Housing, which includes the homeless. Again, Bravo Candace Avalos. It is the opposite of our current indefensible commitment and execution of Targeted, UNLIMITED Neighborhood Concentration of Public Housing which allows governments to load the neighborhoods of their choosing with up to 100% Public Housing (see Metro/Oregon Public Housing Location Maps https://www.goodgrowthnw.org/maps )
Candace Avalos has touched on and endorsed two of the most basic PUBLIC HOUSING policies. We cannot as a community move forward on this issue unless and until we also embrace these Public Housing fundamentals.
It is a principle function of government to provide basic food, shelter and health care for every citizen in need.
Thank you Candace Avalos.
Richard Ellmyer is a resident of North Portland and writes about the politics, players and policies of Public Housing in Oregon.
*PUBLIC HOUSING i.e. a class of housing defined as, Means Test (<=80%MFI) + Government Subsidy (any government any type) + rental agreement.