Monday, May 9, 2022

Portland Metro Homeless Services Tax. 2022: If $200 M Collected, Dollars for Each Chronic Homeless Person=$40,827.

Last week the three county Continuum of Care homeless organizations in the Portland Metro area released initial data from the 2022 Point in Time homeless count.

After looking at news coverage and the initial release of the 2019 PIT data the first unreported story I see is the high level of funding that would be available from the Metro services taxes for each chronic homeless person.

The math:

  • The press release reports a homeless population of 6,633 and (without a county breakout) a population of chronic homeless of 3,674. 
  • Metro's service tax dollars are supposed to be directly 75% at the chronically homeless. 
  • Let's assume a $200 million annual collection from the homeless service tax. 

With these facts and the assumed distribution of $200 million the table below shows that  for every chronic homeless person there would be $40,827 available, and for every non chronic homeless person there would be $16,898 available. 

NOTE; This is in ADDITION to the existing homeless spending per person from all other funding sources: HUD, HHS, VA, Treasury, state funding, local funding etc. (In their 2021 local implementation plan Clackamas County totals three county other homeless investments of $112 million, but this may be an understatement). 

Chronic Homeless Distribution Per County May Impact County Metro Service Tax Distribution. 

With the current chronic homeless data NOT yet publicly available by county, we can't know how the chronic homeless PIT will impact distribution amongst the counties.  

The 2022 PIT total homeless population distribution is Multnomah County (78.8%), Washington County (12.2%) and Clackamas County (9 %)

The current Metro service dollar distribution formula is Multnomah County (45.3%), Washington County (33.3%) and Clackamas County (21.3%)

Other factors, like the location of tax collections, may also impact the distribution. 

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog

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