A new study has found Oregon has 156,000 households on the verge of homelessness. People who spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent are at risk of losing their home from one unexpected bill or emergency cost.
The report follows a study from two years ago that found many Portland residents wrongly thought the growing number of people living on the street was caused by individual choices, rather than economic forces and government decisions.
Experts say elected officials have spent too much time and money catering to residents who believe homelessness is a choice, rather than providing housing for people without homes.
Portland alone has more than 17,000 vacant housing properties, not including the numbers of empty homes created by the construction boom that has gone on in the city the last three years.