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June 19th, 2019
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Michael BuonocoreMessage from Michael

On Tuesday, June 18, 2019, the Home Forward Board of Commissioners formally adopted a resolution in opposition of the proposed HUD rule to deny assistance to families that include someone who is not a citizen. In our housing programs, the vast majority of these family members are children who are U.S. citizens living with an ineligible parent, and the rule would require the breakup of families, or the eviction or termination of assistance for “mixed families” from our programs that include public housing, Section 8 rent assistance, and project-based rent assistance.

These families have resided in our housing for decades, but this rule seeks to change that. If the rule were implemented, and these households were removed from our programs, the impact on the Home Forward family could be staggering:

  • More than 250 households could be evicted or have their assistance terminated.
  • Within those households, over 600 kids would be in immediate danger of becoming homeless.
  • And in total, over 1,100 individuals could lose their access to affordable housing.

Meanwhile, throughout the country, this proposed rule could impact as many as 25,000 households and 55,000 children within those households. After adopting the resolution in opposition to this cruel proposal, the Home Forward Board Chair Miki Herman had this to say:

“Adopting a resolution in response to this policy proposal cannot express strongly enough the Home Forward Board of Commissioners’ opposition to this exercise in blatant xenophobia and racism. We have no interest in tearing families apart and forcing children into homelessness, and neither should the federal government.”
Instead of changing the interpretation of longstanding rules to frighten and punish American children and their moms, dads, and grandparents, we believe we should be focusing our energy on getting more people a safe place to call home.

As frustrated as we are with the federal government’s politicizing of HUD and their endangerment of the people we serve, we’re thrilled that our local partners at the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) are continuing to move in a positive and inclusive direction to address our housing and homelessness crisis.  PHB recently awarded Home Forward funding and land at SE 30th Avenue and Powell Boulevard to build approximately 180 new affordable apartments. These apartments will provide safe, affordable and stable homes for thousands of Portland families for generations and their construction will create hundreds of local jobs.  

The Board of Commissioners was happy to move on from the resolution to oppose the proposed HUD rule and take up the resolution authorizing the construction contract for the new development to Colas Construction. We can’t wait to get started working together.

In solidarity,

Michael Buonocore
Executive Director

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