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Posted on: May 4, 2021

City Receives Three Proposals in Response to Homeless Services Center RFQ/P

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The City of Portland received three development proposals in response to the Request for Qualifications/Proposals the City issued to support construction of a new Homeless Services Center (HSC). City staff is currently reviewing the proposals and hope to present a recommendation to the Housing & Economic Development Committee during its May 18th meeting. Staff will be seeking direction from the Committee on the developer selection for the city to enter into an agreement to construct, own and manage the HSC. Following Committee direction, the Committee and full Council would still have approval over the final agreement with the selected developer. 

On June 17, 2019, the City Council approved the creation of a modern homeless services center with emergency shelter access and complete wrap-around services to be located at 654 Riverside Street on vacant, City-owned property. Since then, City staff has been exploring various development and funding approaches to support the project, including federal and state grant funding along with options to involve the private sector. 

In light of the pandemic, the City had to add additional scope and requirements to the RFQ/P to ensure proposals took into consideration necessary physical distancing requirements. The City originally estimated it would cost approximately $8-$10 million to construct the new facility. However, since that original estimate, the project grew in size due to needing more space for pandemic safety measures, and overall construction costs have risen significantly due to global pressures and demand. In a January 2021 memo to the Housing & Economic Development Committee, prior to the release of the RFQ/P, the City estimated the total cost would be higher and include a lease payment in the range of $1 - $1.4 million per year over a 20 year period. These factors can be seen at play in the proposals the City received.  

Given the lack of available federal and state support, the City is engaging private sector partners to handle all portions of the project leading up to City occupancy. The private sector partners would then lease the HSC to the City of Portland. Depending upon the project approach, the Homeless Services Center could be ready for City occupancy within 24 months following Council approval. 

To view summaries of each proposal, click here

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