July 21, 2024

Houseless Issues

Why can’t Ashland residents afford their rent?

At $549,900, the average home price is 25% more than what someone would pay in Phoenix, the
next most expensive city in the Rogue Valley, according to the city’s median home sale price
data from November 2021 to January 2022.
Over half of Ashland residents earn less than the median income for Jackson County.
Almost half of Ashland residents also live in cost-burdened households, meaning they spend
more than 30% of their income on their housing, whether they rent or own their home. That
number jumps up to 63% when looking solely at the number of renters who are rent-burdened.
That number jumps up to 63% when looking solely at the number of renters who are rent-
burdened.

What are the Tent Protests all about?

Homeless families report they are “harassed” by Ashland PD, “often in the middle of the night” with
notices to move along. A group of Ashland houseless have had enough and are assembling together to
petition their city government for a redress of grievances. This group is following a model for Self
Governing Encampments and working in good faith with the city administrator. Nevertheless the
Ashland City Council has approved a new round of draconian actions to further harass this group and
break their will.

What do the protesters want?

They want to see self-governing habitation zones in the region such as Dignity Village in Northeast Portland and before officials eliminated it, Los Angeles’ homeless camp at Echo Park Lake. The protesters would also like to be given a map or list of locations that have trespass agreements with the local police, and that notices to bounce would be issued during daytime hours rather than in the dead of night. And they want the voices of homeless people included in decisions that affect them.

How can I help?

Contact the City Council, City Administrator and Ashland PD to voice your support of the protestors and ask that the city provide space for a self-governing encampment model.

Links to resources:

‘Stop Hunting Us’: Homeless protest rotates throughout Ashland

https://www.rv-times.com/localstate/stop-hunting-us-homeless-protest-rotates-throughout-ashland/article_279984e0-b9d1-11ed-b157-2b34b6d83d25.html

Oregon Homeless Crisis:

https://www.opb.org/article/2022/08/31/ashland-housing-crisis-rent-solutions-average-home-prices

PayPal: jason@sojwj.org

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