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July 1, 2014    
hope. access. potential
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Nurturing Hopes and Dreams for a Good Life

Boiler at Northwest Tower
A community of opportunity with 122 affordable homes opens in SW Portland

Sergio Barrera measures his wealth by the quality of the connections he has with others.  The Stephens Creek Crossing resident told an audience gathered to celebrate the new apartment community that he feels rich after just a few months in his new home.

Nestled in a leafy middle-class neighborhood in Southwest Portland, our third and final HOPE VI redevelopment replaces the blighted Hillsdale Terrace public housing with a community of opportunity designed to foster school success for kids, workplace achievement for adults, and positive connections between residents and neighbors.  The gateway to the development is a Children’s Center that will support early childhood development with Head Start classes and parenting resources.

At the opening, speakers and students from Robert Gray Middle School planted flowers printed with the hopes and dreams residents have as they start their life at Stephens Creek Crossing.

Learn more about Stephens Creek Crossing>

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Waiting Lists to Open at 23 Communities in July 

We are opening waiting lists at more than half of our public housing apartment communities from July 9-12.  The online application process is for one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments throughout Multnomah County. 

“This is the biggest opening we’ve had since moving to site-based waiting lists for our public housing communities,” said Steve Rudman, executive director. “We hope everyone who needs an affordable home will take advantage of this opportunity.”  Public housing residents pay 28.5-31% of their income for rent.

Learn more about the waiting list opening>

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Investing in Higher Rent Subsidies in Some Areas

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 mass transit, depending on their needs. 

To help our participants tap into these areas of opportunity, we are using our Moving to Work deregulation flexibility to invest more in rent subsidies in parts of Multnomah County with higher market rents.  Starting July 1, we are basing our payment standards -- the maximum subsidy we can provide towards a tenant's rent -- 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 $1,087.

Learn more about our new payment standards>

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Affordable Housing Finance Expert Joins Board

School kids

Dan Anderson, a retired executive from Bank of America’s national community development financial practice, has joined our board of commissioners.  Anderson also oversaw the bank’s public housing practice and served on several federal commissions related to public housing policy, including the Millennial Housing Commission. 

“Housing authorities must innovate to survive,” Anderson said, “I am excited to help one of the country’s most progressive housing agencies continue to stretch in service of its mission.”

Learn more about Dan Anderson's appointment>
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85 Stories Initiative Reaches Next Milestone

Boiler at Northwest Tower
Effort will preserve 1,200 homes for seniors and people with disabilities

Dubbed 85 Stories for the number of floors between them, our initiative to preserve 10 high-rise apartment communities with tremendous capital needs continues to make good progress. The federal subsidy supporting the four properties in Phase One has been converted from public housing to project-based rent assistance, allowing us to leverage debt and equity to finance the repairs the buildings need.  The work will be funded with low-income tax credit equity, tax exempt bonds, and Home Forward equity investments.  Construction is expected to start in early 2015.

"This is the most important preservation project in our agency's history," said Steve Rudman, executive director.  "Our high rises provide deeply affordable homes for our most vulnerable citizens and are located in thriving central city neighborhoods with a variety of services and amenities." 

Recently, some of our high-rise residents, including Mel, pictured above, made a video discussing the importance of their homes as they've tackled challenges in their lives.

Watch a video featuring our residents>
Learn about the 85 Stories initiative>


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View the Dashboard Report here


THE OREGONIAN: Stephens Creek Crossing: Home Forward's New $53.9 Million Housing Project is Full

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: Project Seeks Right Blend for SW Neighbors

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: New Field is a Blessing in North Portland

THE OREGONIAN: Steve Duin: Welcome, Stephens Creek, to the Neighborhood


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