Portland, OR

Friday in Portland: Multnomah County commissioners vote for rental assistance over city homeless camps

Emily Scarvie

Photo by(John Moore/Getty Images)

By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Friday, Dec. 16 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Multnomah County commissioners vote for rental assistance, not city homeless camps

On Thursday, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners voted to spend millions of dollars on keeping thousands of Portlanders in their homes. In doing so, this vote also denied what Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has been asking for, millions of dollars to build large, sanctioned camps. The meeting on Thursday was to decide what to do with $28 million of unspent or over-forecast revenue from Metro’s voter-approved Supportive Housing Assistance tax.

After a lot of discussion and public discourse, the board voted for rental assistance and not the mayor’s camps. The Portland City Council approved spending $27 million on six 250-person homeless camps several weeks ago. Mayor Wheeler said Multnomah County needed to provide $21 million to help out.

Despite this, the commissioners went a different direction, voting to spend $15 million to keep people in their homes. They also allocated $1 million toward other services designed to get people into housing. The remaining $12 million will be saved for next year.

2. Increased parking fees coming to Portland International Airport

FlyPDX recently announced that parking rates will be increasing next year for the first time in four years. Hourly rates will increase by $1 for all types of parking, except valet. Daily short-term and economy parking rates will increase by $3 and daily valet parking will increase by $10. Long-term daily rates and hourly valet will remain the same.

The parking revenue pays the wages of shuttle bus drivers and other customer service staff around the airport. The changes will take effect on Feb. 1, 2023.

3. Holiday events in abundance this weekend across Portland

With Christmas only a week away, there’s lots of festive events popping up around the city this weekend. Peacock Lane officially turned on its lights this week and visitors are invited to stop by every night through Dec. 31 from 6 - 11 p.m. to check them out. The Lents Holiday Pop-up Market is also happening this weekend and includes local vendors, handmade gifts, crafts and more.

Looking to catch a performance in the city? “Elf in Concert” is at The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall this weekend and “A Very Merry PDX-mas” is happening on Saturday at Broadway Rose New Stage.

Check out even more holiday events here.

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