The council was scheduled to vote Thursday on a package of five resolutions that comprise the plan, which Mayor Ted Wheeler unveiled two weeks ago.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland City Council is set to discuss and vote Thursday afternoon on a large and controversial plan from Mayor Ted Wheeler to tackle the city’s homelessness crisis, including a ban on unsanctioned camping.

Wheeler unveiled his plan two weeks ago, and the package of five resolutions had an initial public hearing last week at a council meeting that stretched into the night as hundreds of Portland residents and groups testified about the proposal, offering a mix of praise and criticism.

The measures are scheduled to come back for a council vote Thursday. The meeting includes an option for additional public testimony on amendments to each of the five resolutions in the plan.

RELATED: Portland City Council faces packed chamber for testimony on Mayor Ted Wheeler’s homeless plan

You can watch a live stream of the city council session below.

The ACLU of Oregon and the Portland nonprofit Street Roots, which advocates for homeless residents and separately publishes a weekly paper that covers issues impacting homeless people, issued a statement Thursday morning calling for the vote on the “mass encampment” proposal to be postponed, and demanding public records of communications between officials about the policy and testimony at last week’s meeting.

Kaia Sand, executive director of Street Roots, had previously objected to the fact that Commissioner Dan Ryan’s office had moved business-related speakers — who were generally in favor of the plan — to the front of the line to testify last week, as reported by The Oregonian.

The Thursday press release reiterated that complaint, and also argued that the mass camp proposal is likely unconstitutional based on prior court rulings and the way the public hearing was conducted.

Details of the plan

The plan would ban unsanctioned camping across the city while opening three large sanctioned camping sites, and it would provide easier access to mental health and substance-abuse recovery services for homeless people.

The ban would be phased in over 18 months “once funding has been secured” to create more safe spaces for homeless people to stay like Safe Rest Villages and other sanctioned campsites, and proposes a partnership with the Multnomah County District Attorney to create a diversion program for people cited for low-level offenses.

RELATED: Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler unveils new plan to address city’s homeless crisis

The plan also calls for the construction of 20,000 units of affordable housing by the end of 2023, and asks city bureaus to build a land bank of up to 400 publicly owned sites for multi-family development. The city would also call on the governor and state legislature to increase funding for affordable housing.

Wheeler’s plan is the city’s latest attempt to address the housing and homelessness crisis, which has become an increasingly prominent area of public concern in recent years as the number of people living unsheltered in the city has ballooned to more than 3,000.

This is a developing story and will be updated.





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