Washington, D.C. – On January 10, 2023, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek marked her first full day in office by signing three executive orders aimed at tackling the state’s housing and homelessness crisis. Today, Governor Kotek reflected on the progress made in her first month in office and reiterated her call on the legislature to invest $130 million as soon as possible to reduce the number of unsheltered Oregonians by the end of the year.
“Oregonians are demanding bold action to reduce homelessness and build more housing,” Governor Kotek said. “I’m urging the legislature to act now on this urgent homelessness package. But we can’t stop there. As I laid out in my recommended budget, we need to make ongoing investments to take on this crisis at the scale needed to solve it, and I will work with legislators from both parties and leaders from all over the state to get the job done.”
Below is a chronological summary of notable actions Governor Kotek has taken in her first month in office.
Housing and Homelessness Executive Orders – January 10
On her first full day in office today, Governor Kotek signed three executive orders aimed at tackling the state’s housing and homelessness crisis: setting an ambitious state target to increase home construction; declaring a homelessness state of emergency; and directing state agencies to prioritize reducing homelessness in all areas of the state.
Executive Order No. 23-02 declares a state of emergency due to homelessness in regions of the state that have experienced an increase in unsheltered homelessness of 50% or more from 2017 to 2022.
Executive Order No. 23-03 directs state agencies to prioritize reducing both sheltered and unsheltered homelessness in all areas of the state—not solely those in which a state of emergency has been declared—using their existing statutory authorities.
Executive Order No. 23-04 establishes a statewide housing production goal of 36,000 per year and creates the Housing Production Advisory Council to develop comprehensive budget and policy recommendations to meet that goal.
Governor Kotek has since announced she is accepting applications for the council, which will be composed of 25 members, including the Governor or her designee, bipartisan members of the Oregon House and Senate, relevant state agency directors, and a Tribal member. The largest share of members (18) will be appointed by the Governor.
Expectations sent to agency leaders – January 11
On her second day in office, Governor Kotek sent a letter to all agency leaders outlining new expectations for improving customer service and delivering on a focused agenda. The governor has directed the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to provide her office with updates on the progress in meeting the new expectations, beginning quarterly on June 1, 2023.
MLK Day of Service – January 16
Honoring her word to join a community cleanup to mark the service of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Governor Kotek, and First Lady Aimee Kotek Wilson joined U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and other community members in a community clean up event, picking up trash and helping clean up a neighborhood park in East Multnomah County. Dozens of volunteers joined Saturday’s clean-up and picked up 563 pounds of trash, according to SOLVE, the nonprofit that hosted the event.
League of Oregon Cities Remarks – January 25
Governor Kotek addressed hundreds of mayors, city councilors, and local leaders from across the state for the League of Oregon Cities’ “City Day” event at the Salem Convention Center, where her remarks focused on the need to work collaboratively at all levels of government to solve the housing and homelessness crisis.
“I know that for many of you, a day doesn’t go by without hearing concerns from your community,” Governor Kotek said. “Together, we can translate those concerns into concrete solutions.”
Mass Casitas – January 27
Governor Kotek joined Hacienda CDC at the Port of Portland’s Marine Terminal 2 to celebrate a pilot project to build modular housing units called Mass Casitas. The units will soon house pre-selected families and individuals from four communities including Madras, Otis, Portland, and Talent. Governor Kotek helped secure $5 million for the project in 2021 while still serving as Speaker of the House. The program is one example of how Oregon can address its housing supply shortage and reach the goal of 36,000 additional units per year.
“When we couple our commitment to our communities, the environment and innovation we can drive tangible solutions, solutions we can see and touch for ourselves, like the homes that surround us in this room,” she said.
Governor’s Recommended Budget – January 31
Three weeks into her administration, Governor Kotek unveiled her “Mission Focused” budget recommendations for the 2023-25 biennium, with clear direction on her top three priorities: building more housing and reducing homelessness; improving access to mental health and addiction services; and improving outcomes in early literacy and K-12 schools.
Black History Month Proclamation – February 1
Alongside members of the Oregon Commission on Black Affairs (OCBA), Governor Kotek signed a proclamation recognizing Black History Month and the significant contributions and accomplishments by members of Black communities across Oregon and the United States over the last 400 years. To watch video from OCBA of the proclamation signing, click here.
“Black History is Oregon History,” she said. “Black Oregonians have courageously led the pursuit of justice, equity, inclusion, and equality. The movement for civil rights, and the continuous demonstration of resilience and excellence, embodies the founding principles that all people are created equal.”
HUD Announcement – February 2
In Portland, Governor Kotek joined U.S. Housing and Urban Development Northwest Regional Administrator Margaret Salazar, Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson, and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler to announce Oregon is receiving $9.5 million in federal funding to address housing and homelessness.
The Portland-Multnomah County Continuum of Care (COC) is receiving $8.3 million, and the State Balance of Care COC is receiving $1.1 million.
This week, she is in Washington D.C. for the National Governors Association’s Winter Meeting, where she is meeting with bipartisan leaders from across the country and advocating to strengthen Oregon’s partnerships, especially when it comes to housing, health care, education, and advanced manufacturing.