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February 25, 2014   
hope. access. potential
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Voucher Freeze Ends with Improved Funding from DC

Higher federal investment in our programs translates to good news for the 3,000 individuals and families on our Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) waiting list.  The list has been frozen since it was created a year ago.  We are now drawing 50-100 applicants a month and are on pace to finish the year with 97 percent of our vouchers in use.  Use dipped to 95 percent after we stopped issuing new vouchers as a result of the severe budget cuts forced by sequestration.  The best news of all:  the increase means we will be providing rent assistance to an additional 250 households by the end of the year.

Learn more about our waiting list draws

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Stephens Creek Crossing Welcomes First Families

Family at Stephens Creek Crossing

Moving vans have become a common sight as construction on our third HOPE VI redevelopment rounds the corner to the finish line.  Since early January, our property management staff has helped nearly 50 families move into their new apartments.  "You can feel the positive energy," said Steve Rudman, executive director.  "Everyone loves their new homes, and they're even more excited to be joining what we call a community of opportunity."

Building on experience at its two prior HOPE VI redevelopments, New Columbia and Humboldt Gardens, Home Forward and Stephens Creek Crossing residents will work together to create a community that supports youth achievement at school and economic gains for adults.  Staff and incoming residents sign a pledge to work toward these goals in an environment of respect for each other and the larger community.

We plan to celebrate the new community in late spring when construction is complete.

Learn more about our community compact pledge

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Widmark Takes the Reins as Home Forward Chair 

David Widmark

David Widmark has been elected chair of Home Forward's board of commissioners.  He is the first in the agency's history to hail from east Multnomah county, Home Forward's service territory.  The four-time Gresham city councilor said he will "continue to work to provide healthy housing, partnering with others to deal with issues that can impact clients and the community at large."  Widmark has a special interest in fostering school success for children and helping seniors and persons with disabilities remain in their homes as they age.

Learn more about Chair Widmark
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A Fond Farewell to Commissioner Lee E. Moore, Sr.

Project Networ/Beech St. ground breaking

"I thank you for everything you have given our community, and I am proud to call you a friend."

Those were sentiments from Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish (pictured right above) as he joined past Home Forward board chairs, staff, and residents to thank Lee Moore (pictured left above) for 12 years of volunteer service on the agency's board.  Former chairs Howard Shapiro, Kandis Brewer Nunn, Jeff Bachrach, and Harriet Cormack echoed Fish's praise and thanked Moore for his steadfast involvement and the wise and generous guidance he provided each of them.

Moore was instrumental in helping the agency reach its public involvement, resident engagement, and contracting equity goals for its three HOPE VI redevelopments.  While he was board chair, he led the charge for an agency name that was more inclusive and welcoming than the Housing Authority of Portland.  To inspire others, he liked to share his experience living in public housing as a child and learning the importance of goals as his parents successfully saved to buy a home.  Fittingly, the new community center at Stephens Creek Crossing is being named the Lee E. Moore, Sr. Opportunity Center in his honor.

Read the resolution recognizing Moore

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Social Media:  We've (Finally) Taken the Plunge

Yes, you now can like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  We created a Facebook page and entered the Twitter universe late last year. Both social media uses are meant to supplement, not replace, our existing communications channels, which include this e-letter, internal and external websites, and emails to our community partners. We chose Facebook because it allows us to connect informally to a diverse group of people interested in our affordable housing world. In contrast, we'll use Twitter for announcements and other information we believe may be of interest to journalists and bloggers, as they increasingly rely on this channel for news.

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View the Dashboard Report here


OREGONLIVE: Gresham resident Widmark is Home Forward's first board chairman from East County

PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL: Steve Rudman leaving Home Forward


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