Oregon lawmakers vote to expedite emergency shelter process

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A lack of adequate shelter beds has long plagued Oregon. Recently it was estimated that 10,000 people in the state sleep outside on any given night — a number that has likely increased during the pandemic. On Monday, Oregon lawmakers passed a bill that they say will make it easier and quicker for communities to create emergency shelters and temporary housing. House Bill 2006, which passed 26-1, will remove barriers to siting shelters by temporarily adjusting land use laws and waiving some design, planning and zoning regulations. The bill, which is awaiting consideration by Gov. Kate Brown, would expire in July 2022, although shelters could remain open.