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December 2012     
hope. access. potential
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A new name for the Housing Authority of Portland

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Partners Rally to Help Homeless Veterans


Creation of flexible fund supports use of rent assistance vouchers

Veterans experiencing homelessness are having an easier time finding a place to live thanks to contributions Home Forward, the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and the United Way each made to a $40,000 fund that aids their search.  The fund is for expenses, such as moving costs, not covered by the rent assistance vets receive when they participate in the VASH (Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing) program. 

In addition, Home Forward is using its Moving to Work deregulation flexibility to pay security deposits for vets and a $100 incentive to landlords when they rent to someone who has a VASH voucher.

The agency's commitment to veterans also came to life in Gray's Landing, pictured above, an affordable apartment community that non-profit REACH Community Development has just opened in Portland's South Waterfront neighborhood.  "We were pleased to provide 42 local project-based Section 8 vouchers that are reserved for veterans with limited incomes who want to live at this great new property," said Steve Rudman, Home Forward's executive director. 

Learn more about the collaboration to help homeless vets>

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More than 21,000 Apply for Section 8 Waiting List

In a strong testament to need, Home Forward received 21,294 applications when it opened its Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) waiting list for ten days in November.  The agency will randomly select 3,000 applicants for its new waiting list, with the hope of reopening the list in three to four years.   

Director of Rent Assistance Jill Riddle said she was pleased with community acceptance of the agency's first-ever on-line application process, "We only received 19 paper applications, and 14 of those folks had also applied on-line."

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MTW to Increase Choices, Reduce Costs in 2013

In the coming year, Home Forward plans to use its Moving to Work deregulation flexibility to base rent subsidy levels for its Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program on local market data.  This change will make more areas of Multnomah County affordable to voucher holders, as the methodology allows the agency to more easily accommodate price differences in rental sub markets.  MTW activities that will reduce administrative costs include waiving initial inspections for high performing landlords in the Housing Choice Voucher program. 

These and other activities are laid out in the Year 15 Moving to Work Annual Plan adopted by the agency's Board of Commissioners on December 18.  It now goes to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for approval.

Learn more about our Year 15 Moving to Work plan>

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Small Investments in Building Community a Success

Neighbors develop ties and help each other with the aid of a grant program

A soccer field that has improved relationships between children and parents, a homework club that provides guidance and a safe haven for children and teens, and a community garden that draws seniors out of their apartments were among the results of a pilot program designed to build stronger bonds between residents at Home Forward's apartment communities.  In the Neighbor to Neighbor program, residents with ideas for how to improve their communities compete for modest grants that allow them to pursue their vision.

Learn more about the Neighbor to Neighbor program's first year results>
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