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May 1, 2012       
hope. access. potential
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A new name for the Housing Authority of Portland

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Voucher Program Changes Will Increase Choices

Big check from HUD grant

Two modifications help renters in a tight market

The Portland metro area's hot rental market means rising rents, fewer vacancies, and more competition for a place to live.  Home Forward has made two changes to make it easier for participants in its Housing Choice Voucher program to find a home with their Section 8 voucher.  The first provides more flexibility with a landlord who prefers shorter leases: the agency now will accept six-month initial leases in addition to 12-month initial leases, which offer greater stability.

The second change involves increasing payment standards - the maximum subsidy a voucher can provide - for one and two bedroom units in areas that have become much less affordable.  The new payment standards make a wider range of rental choices available to Section 8 participants who wish to live in inner central Northeast, inner central Southeast, Northwest, and downtown Portland.  They will not be available in census tracks within those areas that have poverty rates above 20%, to encourage housing choices in areas with lower poverty.

Learn more about the program changes>

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More Rent Assistance for Vets Who are Homeless

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with the Veterans Administration, has awarded Home Forward another 60 special vouchers to help veterans who are experiencing homelessness.  The VASH vouchers are paired with services with a goal of supporting veterans in their efforts to reestablish stable lives.

The award brings the total VASH vouchers Home Forward has received since 2008 to 305.  "We are pleased to have a strong partnership with the Veterans Administration on behalf of our vets who have done so much to help our country," said Jill Riddle, director of Rent Assistance for Home Forward.  Riddle said the agency's success in putting VASH vouchers to use is a result of the partnership, program support from many community partners who work with veterans, and Home Forward's decision at the urging of those partners to tap Moving to Work deregulation authority to help participating veterans pay security deposits.

Learn more about the voucher award>

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Benita Legarza is New Resident Commissioner

Home Forward symbol Home Forward resident Benita Legarza will be able to put her passion for social justice to work on the agency's Board of Commissioners.  A single mother of four, Benita worked to put herself through college and will earn a bachelor's degree in Administration of Justice from Portland State University this year.  She is a member of Home Forward's Resident Advisory Committee and the National Low Income Housing Coalition and volunteers for the National Law Project.

Learn more about Benita's appointment>

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Michael Buonocore Takes Reins as Deputy Director

Home Forward symbol Home Forward has called on the talents of Michael Buonocore to fill the number two staff position left open by Anita Yap's resignation earlier this year.  Michael most recently directed resident services activities.  During the years he led policy and planning efforts agency-wide, he spearheaded the development of the agency's strategic directions and was the architect of its groundbreaking Rent Reform program, successfully launched this month.  In addition to his Home Forward experience, he was associate director at Sisters of the Road, a Portland non-profit serving people who are homeless.
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View the Dashboard Report here


PORTLAND TRIBUNE: New Columbia takes small steps toward new life

OREGON CITY REVIEW: Federal grants target homeless vets


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