We face a growing housing crisis in Oregon; rents continue to rise while working class wages fail to keep up with the higher and higher cost of living. As more and more low wage workers are priced out of their homes we see an increase in homelessness.
There is a misconception that most of our unhoused in Lane County are travelers from out of state but the reality is that most of our unhoused are from Lane County. The last permanent residence of about 73% of 10,875 homeless people served in 2012 was in Lane County. An additional 7% were from another Oregon county. That's 80% of our homeless population that are not new residents or just passing through, they are our neighbors, families, and friends and it is fair to assume that these number are only getting worse.
The Eugene & Springfield City Councils and the County Commissioners have failed to address the growing crisis. They have focused on half measure and hollow rhetoric that fail to produce any tangible results. It is time that citizens demand that our city and county government address the issue of rent inequality and homelessness and it is our job to ensure that they do.
ESSN's Housing Justice Project:
The goal of ESSN's Housing Justice Project is to provide community guidance and input to city and county government to solve the renter/unhoused crisis in our community and to hold local politicians and administrators accountable for their actions or lack of action.
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