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Portland leaders earmark more than half of federal relief money for housing assistance

The $63 million in American Rescue Plan funding will also go toward city clean-up efforts and small business support.
Credit: Gene Cotton

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland's city council Wednesday approved a plan to divide up money from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The plan, signed into law in March, is meant to help local and state governments recover from the pandemic.

Portland got $63.6 million. City leaders grouped that with another $40 million from the 2021-2022 city budget to come up with a nearly $104 million investment plan.

The biggest piece of the pie, $35.6 million, will go to the city's homeless response. That includes a plan to build six organized homeless villages.

RELATED: Here are the sites being considered for Portland's city-run homeless villages

Another $23 million will go to efforts to stabilize housing. That includes preventing evictions and foreclosures in some cases, as well as providing utility assistance.

$13 million dollars is going to help stabilize businesses. That includes support for small businesses and workforce training. It sets aside funding to help undocumented business owners as well as minority chambers of commerce.

Another $8.9 million is set aside for improving community health and safety. That includes addressing litter, graffiti and vandalism. It also includes $1 million for services for families impacted by gun violence.

Then, there's another $2.5 million to create community spaces that the city says will be "vibrant and inclusive" and another $2 million for relief to artists of color.

You can take a look at the full financial breakdown here

In announcing the investments, Portland mayor Ted Wheeler said in a statement:

"While I recognize that the city faces persistent challenges and that the need continues to outweigh the resources available, I am hopeful about the meaningful impact these investments will have on Portland as families remain housed, undocumented Portlanders can meet their basic needs, diverse local artisans and businesses access capital and technical assistance, people who have lost jobs find new hope, and neighborhoods across the city are cleaner and enjoy events that bring us together again."

RELATED: ODOT hires contractor to help clean graffiti along Portland freeways

RELATED: After months of buildup, city vows to clear homeless camp at Laurelhurst Park

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