Breaking New Ground: How the Statewide Housing Plan Will Lead Oregon


SALEM — Earlier this month, I joined Governor Kate Brown to announce Oregon’s roadmap to addressing the housing and homelessness crisis our state is experiencing.  Oregon’s Statewide Housing Plan, titled Breaking New Ground, was carefully crafted after coupling the input received in more than 40 community meetings held throughout the state with extensive analysis of community need data.

During the Plan development process, Oregonians taught us a lot. They taught us that they are resilient, innovative, dedicated and have the will to make our state a place where opportunity is available for all.

Policy Driven My Oregonians Needs

Some of what we heard, we already knew and now we are calling it out. We have set priorities that will allow us to target our resources on the most critical needs we are seeing across the state. What we know is that housing is foundational to the economic success of Oregonians. Students cannot focus in class without a place to call home.

Seniors cannot thrive without stable housing. And those living with complex medical needs struggle to maintain personal wellness when faced with the harsh realities of homelessness. Too many Oregonians face these challenges. Breaking New Ground will lead the state through the housing crisis that is threatening the livelihoods of communities large and small. 

The Plan is guided by fundamental principles. We must work holistically with people at the center. The Plan will respond to the inequities and disproportionate impacts on housing for communities of color and other underserved populations. This work requires strong partnerships across sectors, industries, and at all levels of government. By leveraging agency resources, we will advance the mission of addressing poverty and providing opportunity for Oregonians.

Plan Priorities

I keep reflecting on the words of Governor Kate Brown. She said during the release, “This is an ambitious and historic Statewide Housing Plan. It will take an equally ambitious and historic investment from the Legislature to ensure that every Oregonian, in communities large and small, has access to housing choices that allow them and their families to thrive.” She’s right; we need all hands on deck, a consistent effort, and resources to address our housing crisis.

This is a historic moment for Oregon Housing and Community Services. This work will require historic investments, robust collaboration with current and future partners, and dedicated leadership from local and state policy makers.  We look forward to working with all Oregonians as we implement the Statewide Housing Plan. 

You can watch the release event on OHCS’ YouTube page and read the full plan on our website.

About Author

Margaret Salazar is the Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services. She has dedicated her career to creating opportunities through stable housing, most recently as the Director of the Portland Field Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As an Oregon native, Director Salazar is proud to advance OHCS mission of providing stable and affordable housing to address poverty and provide opportunity for Oregonians.

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