Street Roots has joined forces with Columbia County Citizens for Human Dignity, Neighborhood Partnerships, Oregon ON, Columbia River Business Alliance, Sisters Of The Road, Rural Organizing Project, Tillamook County Citizens for Human Dignity, Columbia Pacific Alliance for Social Justice, Latinos Unidos para un Futuro Mejor, and the Western Regional Advocacy Project to ask HUD to meet its housing needs in Northwest Oregon.
Northwest Oregon Housing Authority (NOHA) sent a letter May 26 notifying 285 low-income households in Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook Counties that they will be cut off their Section 8 vouchers effective July 1. For some, the assistance is more than 90 percent of their rent. NOHA hopes to have funding reinstated at the end of the year, at which time the families could have their Section 8 restored. However, the assistance is uncertain and these households cannot wait that long.
Immediate action from HUD is requested to fill the funding gap to keep people in their homes. The overall gap is $600,000, but Oregon Housing and Community Services has contributed $50,000 to provide rental assistance for an estimated 15-20 households who were previously homeless and have the greatest need, for an estimated six months. The remaining figure requested from HUD, therefore, is $550,000.
Poverty and unemployment in these rural communities is a serious problem. The State of Oregon recently reported that homelessness in Oregon has increased 35-37%. The Oregon Department Of Education reports that in school year 2007-2008 the school districts in Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties had 540 homeless students, of which 460 were in families.
Call the Portland HUD field office and tell them to restore $550,000 in funding needed to make sure more Oregon families are not kicked to the streets.
Phone: (971) 222-2600 or e-mail HUD at Miguel.A.FontanezSanchez@hud.gov