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Governor Brown trying to crank up more Oregon “affordable” housing

“Governor Kate Brown
We must be better prepared…”

Governor Kate Brown announced today she has appointed Andrea Bell as the Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) effective April 1. In this role Bell will lead the agency responsible for state housing supports, financing and coordination across the housing continuum. 

“I’m thrilled to name Andrea Bell as Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services,” said Governor Brown. “In her role as Acting Director, Andrea and I worked together to successfully make the case for OHCS to receive $16 million from U.S. Treasury, bringing additional rental assistance resources to Oregon families and helping ensure thousands of Oregon’s most vulnerable residents could remain stably housed. She has consistently demonstrated the leadership and collaboration skills necessary to expand affordable housing in Oregon, strengthen tenant protections, help people experiencing homelessness find homes, and address the racial disparities that have existed in housing policy in this country for far too long. Oregon is incredibly fortunate to have such an impactful leader at such a critical moment.”

“I was humbled when Gov. Brown called me to say that she was appointing me to lead OHCS,” said Bell. “I’m driven by the belief that all Oregonians deserve safe, stable and affordable housing and I feel fortunate to be in a position to guide a talented and dedicated team to advance this work across the housing continuum during such critical times. Housing continues to be a vital determinant of health for all of Oregonians and our work continues.”

Director Bell began serving as Acting Director in February when OHCS’s former Executive Director was appointment by the Biden Administration to be the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Regional Administrator for Region 10. Bell joined OHCS in April 2019 as the Assistant Director of Homeless Services and became Director of Housing Stabilization in 2020 where she led the implementation of a wide range of homeless services, energy and weatherization assistance, rental assistance programs and policy initiatives.

Bell has held pivotal leadership positions in the public sector at critical junctures. Previously, she served as the Housing Director within an Arizona Medicaid health plan administrator where she directed the operations and expansion of state-funded Permanent Supportive Housing programs, as well as deployed sustainable solutions to end homelessness and align funding and policy at the intersection of health and housing. During her tenure, she spearheaded the state’s first tax credit project using Housing Trust Fund resources and led the Governor’s Housing and Health initiative aimed to provide long-term housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness with serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

Bell holds a master’s degree in Public Health from Arizona State University. A photo of Bell can be found on the OHCS website along with additional information about her background and experience. 

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