How the Oregon iSector Turnkey Partnership Worked

In the face of Covid-19, wildfire disasters, and the crisis of homelessness, the need for readily available housing in Oregon became critical. Board members of the Oregon iSector responded to the need and initiated the Turnkey Project. These leaders from the League of Oregon Cities, Association of Oregon Counties, Oregon Community Foundation, and Hacienda CDC joined with Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association and others representing the public, private and civic sectors and formed the Turnkey Partnership to address the need.

The partners determined the best way to provide housing quickly was to acquire existing hotels and motels. Members of the State Legislature were approached and  $65 million in state money was allocated to purchase hotels and motels. The Oregon Community Foundation took the lead and serves as administrator for the program on behalf of the partnership.

In the first round of Project Turnkey, a total of seventeen motels were acquired in thirteen counties throughout the state, providing 798 units of housing. In the longer term, these facilities will be used as transitional or permanent housing units. The iSector is now working with those communities to develop local public-private-civic sector partnerships that will provide the wraparound services essential to meet the need for ongoing operations and support services for present and future residents.

Other Partnerships in Oregon and Around the Country

Salmon SuperHwy Partnership

Tillamook County, Oregon – This partnership aims to reconnect and dramatically improve fish passage in 180 miles of streams in six watersheds on Oregon’s north coast over the next ten years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), Trout Unlimited, Tillamook County Creamery Association and others are partners in the Salmon SuperHwy program.

The Partnership has secured a large grant and leveraged resources from the Tillamook Creamery who will provide $500,000 of in-kind support to the project to help with outreach and education, as well as cash support to help cover landowner costs. The USDA-NRCS grant of $1,237,428 will help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in Tillamook County implement systems to conserve water and soil resources, improve the health of wildlife habitats, and increase climate resilience.

Covid and Economic Recovery

California’s Imperial Valley – The Imperial Valley Business Recovery Task Force was created in late March and includes the local Chambers of Commerce, small business development centers, the Farm Bureau, the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation, the Imperial County Workforce and Development Department and representatives from the local cities. The Task Force is a resource for local businesses.

The Task Force and Imperial County are working together to create a general worksite protection plan (required for businesses that are reopening) and create and distribute standardized notification posters about safety precautions for businesses. Imperial County established a $500,000 low-interest, forgivable loan program for local for-profit and non-profit businesses. “We heard from our business community that many local businesses were not able to participate in the PPP program,” added Terrazas-Baxter. “We saw this as an opportunity to either supplant or supplement any other assistance they may be seeking at this time.”

Workforce Housing

Carson City, California – A cross sector partnership is converting a downtown luxury apartment from market-rate housing to 150 units of workforce housing. The partnership includes The California Communities Development Authority, a developer, the city of Carson, and Standard Communities, a property management company.

The units will be priced to serve middle-income renters who “cannot afford the upscale housing units being built” in Carson City. The property management company has agreed to cap rent increases at 4 percent annually.

Youth Apprenticeships

In Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper initiated CareerWise, a partnership between the State and Colorado businesses, the school system, and local governments. CareerWise is a program that offers opportunities for youth to apprentice with local businesses. It provides students with work experience and relevant credentials and certifications while earning their high school and associate degrees, enabling them to go directly into the workforce upon completing the program. By 2027 this partnership expects to provide 20,000 youth apprenticeships for about 10 percent of Colorado students in their last two years of high school.

Social Determinants of Health

Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Impact, the designated provider of 211 information and referral services has developed a cross sector partnership with local health systems, community organizations and NowPow, a technology company, to improve health equity and outcomes across Milwaukee. IMPACT Connect will establish a shared digital platform for partner organizations across multiple sectors — including healthcare, food, housing, child welfare, mental health, corrections, and others — to work together to better coordinate care and tackle social determinants of health.

Drawing on NowPow’s integrated platform and IMPACT’s comprehensive resource database, IMPACT Connect will enable participating health care and social service organizations to share, coordinate and track referrals in real-time. The NowPow platform will also help support “closed loop communication” between health care and human service providers to ensure people get connected with the resources they need, as well as track outcomes and impact. Over time, this data will identify gaps in services, inform community investments and drive IMPACT Connect’s growth.

“There is no other way to go after big, complex problems than with a cross-sector partnership,”

Aneesh Raman

Senior Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom and member of the California Economic Recovery Task Force