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Parolee Housing Program Ends Prior To Launch

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners formally halted development of a transitional housing program in southeast Bend this week. Commissioner Tony DeBone says neighbors were concerned about a plan to house parolees, including sex offenders, in the triplex on Wilson Avenue.

"We had a public hearing on the matter last week. My conclusion was we should notify the community we’re going to try to do this kind of siting. So that basically got us to a point of let’s back off of this," he tells KBND News. "We’re not going to utilize that facility for this purpose, but I’m sure we’ll be able to find some re-use for it. Somebody’s going to be able to use housing. So, I do apologize. It’s one of those situations that it’s just not good anywhere; ya know, the whole big picture on this."

Parole and Probation officials had said the program would ensure their clients are supervised instead of living on the streets. The county bought the triplex three months ago, "We used some public resources to purchase it," says DeBone, "We’ll find opportunity to reuse it." He adds, "If it’s not used for this kind of purpose, it’s housing for somebody in our community. So, I don’t know that there’s any other discussion that needs to happen there."

But, he acknowledges it's too soon to know the exact future of the property, "We’ll either get it to another housing provider of some sort. There’s another apology in there: we displaced some people. We offered them resources and they were able to find other housing, but it was very disruptive for a few people that were in there. But we’ll get some other people in there. Not sure exactly what’s happening or what we’re going to do in the near future."

Last week, Commissioners voted to start looking for a new site for the program in Bend or Redmond, potentially in a neighborhood under development. That timeline and location remain unclear.

 


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