The coronavirus crisis has made a lot of complicated problems even more difficult to tackle — including Oregon’s housing crisis. As we continue to do everything we can to help our communities recover and to get Oregonians back on their feet, we have to remember that it’s impossible to thrive without a reliable, safe roof overhead.
That’s why I’m pushing congressional leaders to include substantial investments in addressing our housing crisis in the upcoming infrastructure bill — including supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness, public housing maintenance, affordable housing construction, and the rental assistance people will need to be able to afford to live in these new homes in the first place.
I’m also pushing to ensure that those investments reach urban, rural, and tribal communities alike, and that they are used to increase access to affordable homeownership for people and communities that have been disproportionately locked out of the opportunity. Everyone — regardless of the color of their skin, their zip code, or their job — deserves a home, and it’s crucial that our policies reflect that principle.
This pandemic took so much from us, and we have a long road ahead before it’s fully behind us. I’m going to keep doing everything I can to make sure that as we continue down this road, we don’t ignore crucial issues like housing, and we don’t leave anyone behind.
All my best,
Sen. Jeff Merkley