Housing Agencies Get Federal Rent Barometer Raised for the Portland Metro Area
A group of Portland metro area housing agencies has been successful in their quest to have the federal government increase a key metric that affects subsidy amounts in rent assistance programs.
The metric, Fair Market Rents, is set each year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The most prevalent use of Fair Market Rents is to establish payment standards, which are local ceilings for rent assistance provided by the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program.
Home Forward Issues RFP for Project-Based Voucher Awards
Home Forward is seeking proposals from developers and owners who wish to use the agency's project-based rent assistance (Section 8) vouchers in their affordable housing. The agency hopes to make several awards for a total of up to 200 vouchers through the competitive request for proposals process.
Home Forward has entered into an agreement to sell Plaza Townhomes to Community Preservation Partners LLC, a subsidiary of WNC, a national investor in real estate and community development initiatives. Community Preservation Partners will begin renovations at the community upon acquisition and is expected to complete more than $3 million in upgrades to the property.
Partner Sought for New HUD Award for Homeless Vets
July 16, 2015 -- Home Forward and the Veterans Administration Medical Center are seeking a housing partner to join them in an application to HUD for project-based VASH rent assistance and supportive services for homeless veterans.
Previous VASH (Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing) awards from HUD have been for tenant-based assistance. Attaching rent assistance to an apartment rather than a person prioritizes certainty over choice in the rental market. HUD is making the new vouchers available to expand the range of options available to veterans.
Stepping Up Efforts to Address Veterans Homelessness
As part of a community-wide effort, Home Forward has increased its support for veterans experiencing homelessness. The partners in the effort, which include the cities of Portland and Gresham, Multnomah County, the Veterans Administration, and a host of social service agencies, have a goal of finding homes for 500 vets by the end of 2015.
The goal mirrors similar efforts in cities across the country facing the same challenge.
Home Forward Will Increase Rent Assistance Limits on March 1
Home Forward will increase the majority of its rent assistance limits, called payment standards, on March 1 to keep pace with the robust Portland area rental market, giving people with a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) greater ability to rent in all areas of the community. This is the second round payment standard increases in the past 12 months.
Collaborative Development to Receive $6.5 Million from City of Portland
The Portland Housing Bureau announced it will award the St. Francis Park development $6.5 million as a result of the their recent NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability) competititive process. The development is a collaborative effort by Catholic Charities, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, and Home Forward to create an affordable apartment community in Southeast Portland in the open space adjacent to the church.
(No Longer Current) Waiting Lists to Open at 23 Public Housing Communities
Please note that the waiting lists discussed in the following news item were open in 2014 and are now closed.
Home Forward is opening waiting lists at more than half of its public housing apartment communities between July 9 and 12. The agency organizes public housing waiting lists by apartment community and bedroom size. The waiting lists opening are at 23 communities across Multnomah County, and the mix includes lists for one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.
Home Forward has started the process of finding a replacement for Executive Director Steve Rudman. Rudman announced in January that he was planning to leave the agency at the end of 2014 after more than 13 years of service.
The agency has hired Bob Murray and Associates to help with the search. After listening to community partners and staff over the past month, the firm has launched active recruitment.