Tuesday, May 11, 2021
May 11, 2021

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Oregon House passes bill extending homeless camp notice

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The Oregon House on Monday approved a bill that would extend the notice period to homeless individuals before local government agency’s remove an encampment from 24 hours to 72 hours.

In addition, the measure would increase the time a municipality would be required to store unclaimed personal property removed from a site from 30 days to 90 days.

House Bill 3124 passed by a vote of 39-16 and now moves to the Senate.

Rep. John Lively, a Springfield Democrat, said while lawmakers are working on various bills relating to housing and homelessness this session, this particular piece of legislation “addresses some other aspects of how (homeless people) are treated.”

People who are currently or were previously homeless wrote the Legislature to support the bill.

“There is absolutely no good reason to perform camp sweeps without proper notice. Performing a sweep effectively evicts people from their homes. Personal belongings are often confiscated and thrown away,” Juniper Harwood, an Oregon resident who was homeless, said in written testimony. “Would you want to be evicted on such short notice?”

Heather Sielicki, a Eugene Human Rights commissioner who works with the homeless population in the area, said extending the notice would also allow nonprofits and other organizations more time to gather and provide services to the vulnerable population.

“Twenty-four hour notice does not give resource-limited community-based organizations sufficient time to render aid,” Sielicki wrote.

If the bill ultimately passes, a 72-hour notice would be posted on the entrances of the encampment and local agencies that deliver social services to individuals, including arranging shelter, would be notified.

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