Portland Council Sets Aside Land For Massive Homeless Shelter

Aug 11, 2016

The Portland City council voted 3-2 today to set aside an industrial site in North Portland for a massive new homeless shelter.

Pearl District developer Homer Williams has said he wants to build Portland’s largest ever shelter and a hub for social services on the site. He’s said he will raise money from private donors to build and operate it.

Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish voted against the proposal. Fish said the city had failed to go through its normal vetting process.

“Let’s be clear. There is no plan, there is no funding, there has been no public process, and there has been no due diligence.”

Williams did not present a budget or a written proposal for the shelter.

The Portland City Council voted unanimously last year to declare a state of housing emergency. That declaration allows the council to waive some city code to site temporary shelters. But building a permanent shelter on the site will require a complicated re-zoning process.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting