DID YOU KNOW...
If you're reading this, then you've recognized there's a problem. You're here and interested in solutions. Oregon's housing crisis has reached our communities - from La Grande to Elgin, Union to Cove and everything in between - and any county-wide problem takes county-wide action to find and implement solutions. Answers come through collaboration, so drive the issue home to those you speak with. As you get involved, get others involved with you!
Below are some powerful statistics to help cast light on the severity of the issue:
Oregonians have a greater chance of living in poverty today than they did during the Great Recession: the poverty rate rose from 14.3% in 2009 to 16.5% in 2015. 27% of Oregon renter households have a “severe housing cost burden,” meaning they spend more than half of their income on housing and utilities. (https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/DO/shp/OregonStatewideHousingPlan-PublicReviewDraft-Web.pdf)
In 2017, 1 in 5 seniors at La Grande High School dropped out. Low-income 10th grade students in Oregon who did not move during a school year from third grade on are roughly 10 percentage points more likely to graduate on time than their low-income peers who have moved within a school year. (https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/DO/shp/OregonStatewideHousingPlan-PublicReviewDraft-Web.pdf)
In 2016-17 there were 243 students reported as homeless in Union County
But what about the idea that building subsidized housing for low-income residents costs us all money?
Answer: A chronically homeless person costs the tax payer an average of $35,578 per year. Costs on average are reduced by 49.5% when they are placed in supportive housing. Supportive housing costs on average $12,800, making the net savings roughly $4,800 per year. (http://endhomelessness.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Cost-Savings-from-PSH.pdf)
(These figures are based on reduced visits to emergency rooms and hospitals, reduced needs for services, lessened incidents of incarceration and drug abuse for permanently housed individuals, etc.)
So Spread the word! Housing our community members is not only the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do!
We cannot rely on government programs alone to fix our problem.
Effective and lasting solutions are found only through local collaboration and partnership.
Together we can we make a difference!