Rosewood Homes in Roseburg, Oregon consists of 59 duplexes. The project was built in the 1950s and has been remodeled several times. It is located in mixed income area adjacent to Fullerton Middle School - where RAD attended 6th grade. My father was the Executive Director of the Douglas County Housing Authority from 1952 to 1975. The DCHA has smaller projects in Riddle, Winston, Yoncalla, Reedsport, Oakland and Drain.
For more info on the DCHA check out this link - Housing Authority of Douglas County
The UnOregonian has done a series of investigative reports on homelessness written by Anna Griffin. I've included the links to the articles below. It's an excellent series BUT as usual it has the same flaws too much of the media coverage on this issue displays - a Portland centric focus, a "victim" focused framing on individuals who've made bad personal choices and/or on vets who have been left out in the cold by the VA.
The facts are that of the 20,000 homeless Oregonians most are families with children not "bums on Burnside" or homeless "couch surfing kids" but peeople who were victims of the Great Recession and predatory lending practices by "banks to big the fail." Even before the Great Recession half of those facing foreclosure were those facing catastrophic health costs and/or a lost job.
The modern media has a penchant for "framing" issues like homelessness by focusing on the personal trials and tribulations of persons caught in the web of a socio-economic system that doesn't work anymore for the most vulnerable. In all began in the LBJ era when we didn't deliver on the promise of moving from state mental hospitals to community mental health and when the feds in the Reagan years ended public housing.
In place of the public investment in war housing during WW II and public housing after WW II we no longer build projects like Rosewood homes switching instead to a hodge podge of public/private partnerships which are so convoluted and muscle bound with red tape it takes years to get housing built for the working poor, the homeless, vets, elderly and/or victims of spouse abuse.
"...a lack of affordable housing is a huge component of the homelessness problem... The National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates a 7 million-unit shortage nationwide..."
In Washington County we have a growing gap of 19,000 low income rental housing units needed to met the current need let alone what it will be by 2035 when the Metro area has 1,000,000 new residents. And in Salem the most powerful voice in the Puzzle Palace - the Oregon Home Builders, OHBA, led by John Chandler oppose inclusionary zoning which is a necessary tool to address this gap.
The politics of false priorities: The County Board of Commissioners considers building a convention center with Gain Share money more important than investing in low income housing or schools.
One can point the fickle finger of blame on urban renewal or on housing authorities too politicized to do the right thing. Each is a valid point of critique. Urban renewal in the '50s and '60 tore down low rent private housing (slums) to build freeways for suburbanites to drive into and out of the inner city. Public housing built in big cities too often reinforced existing patterns of segregation.
What such misguided policies reflect is the political reality of housing policy in the USA that has reflected the power of red-lining banks, realtors making profits by breaking up neighborhoods, homebuilders maximizing profit and public officials unwilling to stand up for poor people. The issue is no longer what will happen to your property values if a minority family moves next door - it's all about gentrification.
The pattern of creating racial and income based segregated communities is a deja vu experience. In Portland this means as NE Portland is gentrified, outer SE becomes the new "Albina." In Washington County this means the poor are pushed east out of the county or to its western rural edge. Not to invoke a mythical "golden age" it's hard not to conclude that the more things change, the more they stay the same!
There’s no one answer to OUR homeless crisis. Long-term success is going to take a series of policy changes and new investments. It’s also going to require us to change the way we view people in poverty.