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October 2, 2012       
hope. access. potential
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A new name for the Housing Authority of Portland

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Section 8 Waiting List to Open in November

Online applications accepted November 1-10

Low-income renters who struggle to pay their rent have the opportunity for relief by applying for Home Forward's Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list.  The agency will take online applications for this popular rent assistance program during a ten-day period starting November 1.  Section 8 vouchers help those with limited incomes afford rents in the private market.  When the list last opened in 2006, Home Forward received nearly 10,000 applications.

For this opening, 3,000 households will be randomly selected from all applicants to be added to the waiting list.  Once a household is on the waiting list, priority selection for vouchers will be provided for seniors, persons with disabilities, and people who are working or engaged in education or training programs.

Learn more about the waiting list opening and how to apply>

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Ceremonial Wall Raised at Stephens Creek Crossing

Photo at Wall Raising

Building to start on third HOPE VI redevelopment

"I look at this wall and I see a bridge...a bridge between neighbors and residents...a bridge from poverty to opportunity...and a bridge from despair to hope." Reverend Jennifer Brownell, Hillsdale Community Church, United Church of Christ, shared these sentiments at a wall raising ceremony for Stephens Creek Crossing. The church neighbors the new apartment community,which will replace the former Hillsdale Terrace public housing in Southwest Portland.

More than 150 students, neighbors, government dignitaries and project partners gathered for the celebration, including U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, who expressed her appreciation for the redevelopment's emphasis on tying together early childhood education, workforce training, and housing. "The need for affordable housing in this country is critical," she said, "Stephens Creek Crossing is such a positive development that it could become a national model."

Learn more about Stephens Creek Crossing>

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Public Housing Preserved for Future Generations

Northwest Tower Apartments In 2007, Home Forward launched an initiative to ensure its public housing would be available to the community for the next 50 years.  The challenge was significant:  the aging homes had capital needs the federal subsidy to run the program couldn't cover. 

Over the past five years, the initiative, federal stimulus funding, and ongoing capital work produced $30 million in property improvements and a portfolio that is more cost-effective to manage.  Home Forward now is planning a multi-year effort to address capital needs at its ten high-rise public housing communities.

Learn more about the preservation initiative results>
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Heather Rivas Learns How to Dream

Heather Rivas and her family

When public housing resident Heather Rivas agreed to join a program to help her set goals and take charge of her life, she did so with no hope, believing she was doomed to repeat the cycle of poverty that marked her childhood.  Instead, she learned the value of combining dreams with hard work.  This August she and her family moved into a home they own, and Heather became the first graduate of the site-based family self-sufficiency program at Home Forward's New Columbia community.  The program helps residents strive towards life goals that include leaving public assistance.

Heather took her journey in steps.  She worked to improve her credit, buy a car, and excel at a steady job before realizing she could aspire to homeownership.  Along the way, she was determined to be a great role model for her children, marrying her boyfriend so that they would see her in a committed, loving relationship.  The support she received from Home Forward staff and others motivated her. "There were so many people who helped me.  I had complete strangers believing in me and telling me I could do big things, things I couldn't even imagine.  It was very inspirational," she said.

Read Heather's story>

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