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SUMMer 2015

Home Forward | News for Landlords
CONTENTS
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Higher Rent Assistance Subsidies in Our Strong Market
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Will You Join Us in Providing Homes for Vets?
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Speedy Inspections
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Landlord Responsibilities Under VAWA
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Q & A
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NEWS

Higher Rent Assistance Subsidies in Our Strong Market

We've increased the majority of our limits on rent assistance subsidies, called payment standards, to keep pace with the robust Portland area rental market.  Our new payment standards, which are the maximum subsidy we can provide, reflect increasing market rents and give Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) participants the ability to rent in more areas of our community.

"We want landlords to know that our program is responsive to the private rental market -- this is the second time we've raised payment standards in the last 12 months," said Dena Ford-Avery, director of rent assistance.  She said the agency created nine submarkets within Multnomah County and bases payment standards on market conditions in each zone.

Payment standards are not a restriction on landlord rents.  "We approve landlord rents that are reasonable when compared to rents for similar units in the same market area,"  Ford-Avery said.

Get the new payment standards

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OF INTEREST

Will You Join Us in Providing Homes for Vets?

As a landlord ourselves, we've stepped up efforts to help the men and women who have served our country and find themselves without a home.  

For quite some time, we've provided homes for vets who have a VASH (Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing) voucher that provides both rent assistance and supportive services.  We're grateful that so many of you also support this program.

Now we've gone a step further to help reach a community-wide goal to find 600 additional homes for vets by the end of 2015.  We've created priority access for homeless vets at six of our apartment communities, which we expect to result in at least 50 vets finding homes.  To design our program, we worked with staff at Multnomah County, who helped us shape a streamlined, speedy referral process.  When we have openings, property staff make just one phone call for a referral. 

If you haven't already, we hope you will join us in this worthy mission.  The A Home for Every Veteran program, which is part of our community's larger effort to address homelessness, has a number of features for landlords.  For more information, contact Mary Carroll at Multnomah County, mary.carroll@multco.us.

Learn more about A Home for Every Veteran

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TIPS

Speedy Inspections

Our goal is to have inspections done in three to five days after we receive your approval for a Housing Choice Voucher participant to be your tenant. Most inspections are completed on the first visit.

To help ensure this happens, we recommend having someone on hand who can make on-the-spot fixes, like replacing a light bulb. Large repairs, however, must be completed before the inspection.    

Also, don't forget to have the utilities on and appliances connected.  And if no one can be there, a lock box is a great alternative.

View our inspection checklist

 

NOTICES

Landlord Responsibilities Under VAWA

Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 to protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Since its passage, VAWA's focus has expanded to include dating violence and stalking.  Landlords have specific responsibilities under the law. 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which administers the Housing Choice Voucher program at the federal level, has asked us to make sure you have access to current VAWA landlord guidelines.

Learn more about landlord responsibilities

 
 
CONTACT
Speak with Home Forward’s
Landlord Services Team at
(503) 802-8333, option 5, or e-mail
landlordservices@homeforward.org.
 
PROFILE
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Meet Chris Connell
Thankfully for landlords, there’s nothing new about the new supervisor of our inspection team. 

Chris started in maintenance and has extensive experience as a property manager in his 28 years at Home Forward.  And he knows from personal experience the difference a helping hand can make.

“I’ve come full circle,” he said, “As a child I lived in public housing for a few years until my family moved into homeownership.  I was taught the value of hard work, and now I'm proud to own rental property, as well as my own home.”

Chris, who also supervises case management staff, is committed to great customer service for landlords and clients alike.  “My motto is, ‘we can help you,’” he said, "I'm constantly striving to make everything work well.  I know that with our experienced inspection team, we can meet our service goals."
 

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Q & A
Q: Where can I get information on the Oregon law regarding Section 8 and source of income protection?
We recommend you start with landlord associations.  Multifamily NW is a great source of information on the new law.  They've been part of a group conducting landlord training across the state.

Q: Is there a Frequently Asked Question document?
Yes.  It was developed by a group of experts that included landlord associations, tenant advocates, housing authorities and attorneys.  The FAQ is in the Landlord section of our website.

Q: Bottom line, what does the new law mean for landlords?
Landlords cannot refuse to rent to an applicant, or treat an applicant or tenant differently, because the applicant is using a Section 8 voucher or other local, state, or federal rental housing assistance.  Nor can landlords advertise "no Section 8."  Landlords still can screen and reject any applicant, including those with a Section 8 voucher, for past conduct and ability to pay rent.


 

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