Commissioners Allot $2.23M in Covid Relief Funds for Emergency Housing

Clackamas County commissioners this week allocated more than $2.23 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to cover the costs of a hotel/motel emergency sheltering program that includes 43 units.

The Board of Commissioners approved the allocation at a policy session Tuesday, Nov. 2.

The county has received an estimated $40.6 million in ARPA funds since the bill was signed into law in March 2021 and is expected to receive a total of nearly twice that amount when all is said and done. The funds have some strings attached but are meant to provide emergency relief funding to local governments responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Before this earmark, the county had allocated about $17.2 million. More information is at

County officials say the new $2.23 million in funding will go toward advancing goals associated with its Supportive Housing Services and case management programs, including helping vulnerable residents successfully transition into permanent housing with wraparound services such as behavioral and physical health care, education and employment assistance, and landlord communication/dispute resolution.

Other funding will go toward long- and short-term rental assistance for extremely low-income households experiencing or at risk for homelessness, eviction prevention (including such resources as back rent and unpaid utility bills), housing placement and navigation, emergency and transitional shelter and outreach.

Officials say the funding will dramatically increase the county’s ability to reach its emergency housing goals. With the ARPA funding, the county will be able to provide supportive housing and long-term rental assistance to 230 units each (compared to 205 and 200, respectively).

It will also be able to provide short-term rent assistance to 65 households (compared to 10 pre-ARPA), eviction prevention to 60 (previously, 0), housing placement to 167 (120) and provide an additional 13 units of emergency shelter in addition to the 43 units through the hotel/motel emergency sheltering program. Officials stressed these figures are estimates and subject to change.

Officials say the hotel/motel emergency sheltering program is a continuation of efforts that started in response to the Covid-19 pandemic as a way to provide highly vulnerable people experiencing homelessness with a safe place, off the streets, in a non-congregate setting.

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