By Ryan Sturley, College Housing Northwest

PCC, PSU, Mt Hood CC, and College Housing Northwest recently formed a coalition to address rising homelessness and housing insecurity among college students in the Portland metro area. 

As part of this effort, the coalition hosted a Student Housing Insecurity Summit last November, inviting people from the areas of government, higher education, housing, and philanthropy, with the goal to raise awareness of this critical issue and work towards possible solutions.

Coalition representatives also led a workshop on this issue at Housing Oregon’s fall conference including Michael Walsh, Associate Vice Provost, and Greg Townley, Associate Professor, both at Portland State University, and Bhaktirose Dawdy, Student Success Program Coordinator at Mt. Hood Community College.

To address specific issues that arose at the Summit, we have convened the following 3 working groups:

  • Housing Solutions– this group will bring together stakeholders to examine the current student housing landscape and collaborate on short and long-term housing solutions.
  • Financial Solutions– this group will identify funding opportunities and develop strategies to develop lasting financial means to achieve short- and long-term goals. Coordination with the Housing Solution group will be essential.
  • Policy Solutions– this group will develop strategies for small scale changes that could happen at the institution level, advocate for change in current policy, and help develop or support legislation. Coordination with Housing and Funding groups will provide critical input to the Policy Group’s focus.

If anyone is interested in participating in one or more of the working groups, please fill out the survey link here with your information or email Ryan Sturley at

SB851 has been introduced to create a pilot program and will get a public hearing on April 5th.