As News Lincoln County reported to you earlier, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners has authorized the purchase of two apartment buildings in Newport to provide transitional housing for non-violent offenders being released from prison.
Once the county takes title to the property next week, it will begin the process of providing assistance to the existing tenants who are having to move out and relocate. Under both federal and state law, the county is obligated to provide assistance and support in finding housing that’s equivalent in quality, location and price, and pay the displaced tenants’ moving expenses.
The apartment building purchases are being funded with money from monthly supervision fees that parolees are required to pay. Ongoing operational expenses will be covered by the Community Justice Reinvestment Grant Program, established by the 2013 Oregon Legislature.
Since 2000, the number of Oregonians behind bars has increased by 50 percent, and the Legislature saw that growth as unsustainable. Consequently, state lawmakers approved legislation that shortens the sentences for some non-violent drug and property crime offenders and provides funding to counties for programs designed to increase the success of these offenders transitioning back into the community.