Multnomah County will pay landlords a full year of rent to house those in tents in DT Portland

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Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson announced a plan Friday to quickly house hundreds of people living unsheltered in and near downtown Portland by guaranteeing private landlords a year’s rent.

The plan will build off the county’s successful 2022 Move In Multnomah pilot program, which used $4 million to place people into 214 privately owned apartments and houses over the course of four months, Vega Pederson said.

After concentrating on downtown, Old Town and the Central Eastside through May, the county will work to house people living unsheltered in the Gresham area for the next many months, she said.

The new initiative, billed as Housing Multnomah Now, aims to better unify local and state efforts to address homelessness. Vega Pederson said the county will spend $14 million on it over the coming 12 months.

The initial focus will be a four-month drive to move 300 people living primarily in tents in and near downtown into apartments. The county would guarantee private landlords it will pay them a year’s worth of rent plus give them other protections such as mediation services if tenant-landlord issues arise

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