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Government

Council Work Plan

  • The annual Council Work Plan establishes the key priorities of Gresham’s Mayor and Council. The six priorities described in this document represent the City’s top focus areas for 2021.

    2021 Council Work Plan

    This year's projects

  • ​Housing and Houselessness

    Background

    Housing affordability and houselessness are critical issues in Gresham and across the region.

    This project continues to explore projects, funding and partnership opportunities to increase the development of housing, housing stability, and citywide housing services.

    • Gresham will continue implementation of the regional affordable housing program, and policy development for future investment of remaining funds.
    • The City is enforcing rental protections during the State of Emergency due to COVID-19, including banning residential landlords from evicting renters during the state of emergency for any reason connected to the emergency, or for no reason at all via “no-cause” evictions.
    • The City is also creating policy supporting new housing construction, including the Middle Housing Project, which updates the development code to allow more types of housing in areas zoned for single dwellings. Furthermore, the City continues to identify and implement code changes to make the Development Code easier to understand.

    Everyone deserves a secure and reliable place to call home. To address houselessness, the City will continue to explore new strategies, funding and partnerships. With support from the Joint Office of Homeless Services, Gresham’s Homeless Services team connects numerous individuals with shelter or housing every year.

    Housing and houselessness project charter

    Updates

    Housing diversity forum

    The following items were discussed at a public forum on July 22, 2021:

    • How the City can best support a mix of housing options.
    • Improving public/private partnerships.
    • Supporting inclusivity and equity.
    • How this work can stimulate the local economy.
    • How Gresham fits into regional housing development efforts.
    • Socio-economic components of this work, including quality of life and economic stability for Gresham residents.
    Forum materials

    Housing webpage 

    We've launched a webpage to provide information and resources related to the City's housing work. Find information about housing programs and initiatives, services, permits, development, community and homeless services, and resources for everyone from homeowners and renters to property managers and developers. 

    Visit the housing page.

    COVID-19 Response and Recovery

    The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed life for Gresham’s residents, affecting the community’s health, employment, schooling and businesses. During this unprecedented time, the City of Gresham aims to be of service by providing or connecting residents to necessary resources. In 2021, as needs shift from pandemic response to recovery, the City will promote equitable outcomes for Gresham’s residents in housing stability, financial security and health.

    The City's state of emergency declaration – in place since March 2020 – ensures access to regional, state and federal resources. The Emergency Operations Center coordinates resources and establishes City policies on facility access, personnel and remote work. The City has a number of innovative programs to help the community cope with the impacts of COVID-19, including:

    • The utility assistance program, which helps customers struggling to pay utility or garbage bills. Council recently directed $580,000 for utility assistance from the City's allocation of federal Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) CARES Act funds.
    • The food delivery fee cap, which temporarily caps fees restaurants are charged by third-party food delivery apps to help struggling Gresham restaurants.
    • Residential renter protections, which ban landlords from evicting renters for any reason connected to the emergency or via “no-cause” evictions.
    • Commercial tenant protections, which bar commercial property owners from terminating commercial leases for any purpose connected to the declared state of emergency.
    • Small business support including emergency grants and technical assistance.

    COVID-19 response and recovery project charter

    COVID-19 page

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    The City of Gresham strives to attract and retain a diverse workforce, deliver services to all residents in an equitable and accessible fashion, and engage with the community in an inclusive and authentic manner. In December 2020, Dr. James Mason and the Organizational Cultural Competence Assessment and Training (OCCAT) team began a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consulting project to help the City lay a foundation for the creation of a sustainable, actionable, long-term DEI program. Phase I of the work will continue through June 2021, and will include Council policy direction and alignment around terms, concepts and priorities; interviews of key stakeholders to inform an organizational assessment; and a proposed work plan for Phase II, which will include the next steps of comprehensive program design and implementation. 

    Diversity, equity and inclusion project charter

    Diversity, equity and inclusion page

    Public Safety

    Gresham’s Fire and Police Departments maintain the health and safety of the Gresham community. Guided by a Council-led public engagement process, in 2021, the Police Department will work to build trust with Gresham’s communities of color and ensure community safety for all residents through modern policing strategies. The Fire and Emergency Services department will continue its multi-year process to study the condition and location of the City’s fire stations. Furthermore, the regional SAFER (Sustainable Affordable Funding for Emergency Services) Council will perform a needs assessment to determine appropriate emergency response levels in the East County service area. Ultimately, the SAFER Council will offer sustainable funding proposals for consideration by each of the regional participating local governments. 

    Public safety project charter

    Fire and Emergency Services page

    Police Department page

    SAFER Council page

    Financial Sustainability

    In 2021, economic concerns related to the coronavirus are compounded with the City’s usual revenue limitation: a property tax system that caps revenues at an arbitrary and inequitable permanent rate. Year after year, a smaller portion of Gresham’s operations are funded by property taxes. In 1990, while property tax revenue entirely funded Gresham’s public safety departments, today, not even half of those costs are covered. Due to these and other constraints, in recent years, the City has struggled to produce budgets that provide adequate reserves and maintain service levels. A temporary increase in the Police, Fire, and Parks fee in 2020 prevented millions of dollars in reductions in fiscal years 20/21 and 21/22, but the fee increase sunsets in June of 2022. Long-term financial stability continues to be a critical need for the City. In 2021, the City, with meaningful participation from the community, will hold strategic conversations and determine options – likely including revenue generation – to establish long-term financial stability.

    Financial sustainability project charter

    Parks and Recreation

    A robust parks system with recreational opportunities for all is a key community priority. In 2020, significant community feedback was solicited as part of an undeveloped parks concept planning study and a Council Listening Session. The community asked that Gresham’s parks be available to underserved communities, provide wildlife habitat protection, receive sufficient maintenance, include accessible trails, and meet a variety of uses. In 2021, the Council will form a Parks Community Advisory Group to explore revenue options that can enable the City to expand and improve its park system. Several parks-related initiatives may include a parks funding feasibility study, master plan update, Metro Local Share project identification and prioritization, and pursuit of external grant funding opportunities.

    Parks and recreation project charter

    Parks page

    Parks Community Advisory Group