The City of Ashland Housing Program administers three sources of funding: The Affordable Housing Trust Fund, The Social Service Grant Fund and Community Development Block Grant funds. The City has also received additional federal funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to address issues related to the pandemic. Since the onset of the pandemic, these funding sources have primarily been utilized to provide resources to assist area non-profit agencies in providing a range of services and housing activities to support the continuum of housing needs, from emergency shelter, case management and navigation services, to funding to support essential services for homeless populations.
The City has provided funding to support a variety of shelter and housing related activities, including OHRA’s Winter shelter program, and funding for OHRA and Maslow Project to house vulnerable households in hotels. The City has also continued support for essential services such as operational support for the shower trailer and funding to support meal preparation and delivery to the most vulnerable. However, these resources have not been enough to address the many needs created by the ongoing pandemic which have been amplified by the Almeda wildfire, and consequently City staff has explored creative solutions to meet these urgent needs.
The State of Oregon received an additional allocation of Emergency Solutions Grant-Corona Virus (ESG-CV) funds through the CARES Act from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This funding is required to be used to provide resources and services for homeless populations, specifically to prevent, prepare for, and respond to issues created by the pandemic. For the first time the State has offered this funding to entities throughout the state through a competitive process. The City submitted and was awarded an application for funding to address the need for emergency non-congregate shelter. The ESG funding will be used to purchase additional pallet shelter buildings and to work with Rogue Retreat to establish and oversee an urban campground similar to the one that organization is currently running in Medford.
The City is also working with the Rogue Valley Universal Unitarian Fellowship on a pilot program which provides non-congregate sheltering for homeless populations in three pallet shelters located in the RVUUF parking lot. This program is a work in progress and is always being refined.