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The Corvallis-Benton County Housing Opportunities Action Council (HOAC) continues to work on its restructuring and has set a tentative timetable for its transition to Benton County jurisdiction.

The organization, which is charged with implementing the city-county 10-year plan to address homelessness, will cease to exist later this year. An annual meeting might be set for June, with the new entity, the Housing, Opportunity, Planning and Equity Council (HOPE), set to get rolling in August or September, said Shawn Collins, a United Way employee who works as the project manager for HOAC.

A community workshop on downtown Corvallis safety and livability has been set for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on May 13. No venue has been set, Collins said. The event will be facilitated by Ari Basil-Wagner of Great Oregon Behavioral Health Inc. Basil-Wagner has been working with HOAC since September. Those wishing to RSVP for the event can do so to awagner@gobhi.org.

This workshop is focused on downtown Corvallis. There will be future workshops that will be seeking input regarding the county.

An intergovernmental agreement and bylaws for the new HOPE group are in draft form, with the “A Home for Everyone” program in Multnomah County being used as the model.

The key goals, said Xan Augerot, Benton County commissioner and co-chair of HOAC, are to better coordinate funding, advise the city and county on issues, plan for a spectrum of needs and make sure there is a clear scope and lines of authority. Augerot also said the new HOPE group needs to avoid last summer’s experience, in which choosing a site for the men’s cold weather shelter divided the community.

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“The process that unfolded last summer over the siting of the shelter was hard on all involved,” Augerot said. “It underscored weaknesses of HOAC — liability, clarity of accountability, authority and scope. It was hindering HOAC and progress on the goals in the updated 10-year plan.”

A tentative timeline for the HOAC-to-HOPE transition also was unveiled at the April 24 HOAC meeting.

Staffing and budget issues are scheduled to be resolved by the end of June. The work to adopt the intergovernmental agreement and bylaws is set to run through July, with formation of HOPE’s executive committee and coordinating board set for July and August. Communication and public outreach efforts are scheduled to run through September, although only the May 13 workshop regarding downtown issues has been finalized.

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Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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