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SUMMER 2014
Home Forward | News for Landlords
CONTENTS
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Investing in Higher Payment Standards
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New Landlord Incentive Payments
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Pro-rated Payments at Move Out
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A Practical Alternative to Laminate Flooring
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Q & A
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NEWS

Investing in Higher Payment Standards

The Housing Choice Voucher program presents our participants with a tremendous opportunity to move forward in life.  With a voucher, they can work with private landlords and find a home near good schools, child care, or public transportation, depending on their needs.

To help our participants tap into these areas of opportunity, we are investing more in subsidies in parts of Multnomah County with higher market rents.  Starting July 1, we have based our payment standards – the maximum subsidy Home Forward can provide – on market rates within nine neighborhoods defined by zip codes.  For example, the maximum subsidy for a two-bedroom apartment in outer southeast Portland will be $832, while the subsidy for a two-bedroom apartment in the downtown and northwest Portland neighborhoods will be up to $1,087.

Remember that payment standards are not a restriction on landlord rents.   Landlord rents are limited by market conditions.  Rents have to be reasonable when compared to rents for comparable units in the same market area.

Learn more about our new payment standards

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OF INTEREST

Incentive Payments for New Landlords

Effective July 1, 2014, Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) will be included in the definition of income for source of income discrimination in the state of Oregon.  In hopes that landlords new to the program will choose to work with us, we will send a one-time $200 incentive to landlords who rent to a voucher holder and haven't worked with us in the past 24 months.  The checks will come with a customer service survey to get feedback on their experience and seek ideas for improvements.

The new legislation also requires the state of Oregon to provide a landlord mitigation fund accessible to all landlords renting to Section 8 voucher holders as of July 1.  As a result, we will no longer offer or administer the Home Forward guarantee fund, which was a more limited program.

Learn more about our program benefits for landlords

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PROGRAM CHANGES

Pro-rated Payments at Move-out

We will now pay our portion of your tenant's rent through the move-out date rather than through the end of the month in which they move.  The change is effective July 1, 2014.

As always, we require your tenant to provide us with a copy of the Home Forward notice form they give you, and we will contact you to verify this step.  In the event the move-out date is not adhered to, please let us know so we can provide you with the adjusted prorated payment amount.

 

TIPS

A Practical Alternative to Wood Laminate Flooring

About five years ago, we noticed many landlords starting to change out carpeting in favor of snap-together wood laminate flooring.  Since then we’ve seen that these floors are very susceptible to water damage if not cared for properly.  

Our inspectors suggest the same style of snap-together flooring but instead of wood laminate, use the products made from vinyl. They have the same appearance, install easily, and are not affected by water.
 

 
 
CONTACT
Speak with Home Forward’s
Landlord Services Team at
(503) 802-8333, option 6, or e-mail
landlordservices@homeforward.org.
 
PROFILE
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The Housing Choice Voucher Program
Fun fact:  more than 40% of our Section 8 voucher holders are seniors.

While it may seem odd to profile the Section 8 program itself, we know that facts about it aren't well-known and new landlords have many questions about how it works. 

Here's a quick primer:

There are three partners - landlords, tenants, and Home Forward - and we work together in a three-point connection.  Landlords and tenants have a rental agreement; Home Forward has an agreement with your tenant for a voucher; and Home Forward and landlords have an agreement that allows us to pay you directly for our portion of the rent.  The key to a successful experience for everyone is open communications and adherence to the agreements we have with each other. 

Our website is a good place to learn more about the program.  Click here to go to our special section for landlords.
 

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Q & A
Q: When does the new state law involving Section 8 take effect?
July 1, 2014.

Q: What does the law change?
The law includes Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) income in the definition of income for source of income discrimination.  With this change, landlords may not use participation in the Housing Choice Voucher program to prevent a prospective tenant from applying for a rental unit.

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