Feedback sought on new multi-jurisdictional homelessness advisory council at June 27 meeting

Monday, June 17, 2019

On June 27, 2019 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Linus Pauling Middle School, 1111 NW Cleveland Ave, Corvallis, the City of Corvallis and Benton County will host a community meeting to gain feedback on the governing structure and bylaws of a multi-jurisdictional group that will advise and make recommendations to the City of Corvallis and Benton County concerning how to assess, plan and respond on the issues of homelessness.

The community meeting will include a presentation of the governing structure and bylaws, and an interactive feedback process that will allow people to keep their comments anonymous. Community members who cannot attend and wish to provide feedback may email bocinfo@co.benton.or.us. The meeting will also include a brief summary of the May 13 community workshop on safety and livability.

The formation of a multi-jurisdictional housing instability and homelessness advisory council follows the dissolution of the Housing Opportunities Action Council in May 2019.

In 2009, former Mayor Julie Manning and former County Commissioner Jay Dixon led collaborative efforts between the city of Corvallis and Benton County to establish a comprehensive housing and homelessness planning document.

Many local agencies were part of an ad-hoc coalition to enact the plan, and Mayor Biff Traber and former County Commissioner Anne Schuster led as co-chairs beginning in 2015.

In 2016, the Housing Opportunities Action Council was initiated to reflect the bottom-line need for housing and provide opportunities for inter-agency collaboration among the various service providers within the county. The HOAC led a planning and community engagement process to update the plan to reactivate and reenergize the community’s response to a growing and increasingly serious homeless and housing affordability crisis.

Many changes occurred within Benton County including a growing population experiencing homelessness and the impact that presents to the local community. HOAC disbanded in 2019 allowing for the development of and transition to a new advisory structure and governance. The City and County hope the new, proposed multi-jurisdictional homelessness advisory group will be formed by September 2019.