Tag Archives: Neighborhood Partnerships

Homeowners facing foreclosure need accurate information

By Janet Byrd, Contributing Columnist

A stable place to call home gives people the chance to build a better life for themselves and their families. The thousands of Oregonians facing the uncertainty of foreclosure have new hope for stability because of recent legislative action.

One out of every five Oregon homeowners is “under water” and owes more on their home than it is worth. One out of 11 is either in default or is 30 days late on their mortgage payments.  These financial strains have repercussions throughout families and communities. Foreclosures are a drain on physical health, and the stress makes family life harder. Because owning a home plays such an important role in maintaining a household’s financial stability, foreclosures have impacts for many years on family opportunities and prospects, including education and employment. Communities are hurt by foreclosures as well — by vacant homes, a loss of community vitality, and decreased home values. The recent Street Roots cover story (“Boarded up,” May11) highlighted the problems caused if these vacant homes are not maintained. Continue reading

Let’s not go blindly on housing into the next session

Alison McIntosh, Contributing Columnist

Too many Oregonians today are forced to choose between paying rent or buying groceries or medicine.  Too many of us are busy looking for work, holding down two or three jobs, hunting for an apartment or affordable day care, or trying to hold off a foreclosure. Many others of us are trying hard to sleep through the night while worrying, or while sharing shelter space with dozens of other people.

In February, the Oregon Legislature will convene for a short, one-month session.  This makes us anxious for yet another reason, holding our breath nervously in anticipation of what might occur in February. It is almost certain that we’ll hear more grim news about the budget, and we’re worried that the Legislature will act to do even more damage to our community’s system of support for people facing hard times. During the last legislative session, there were cuts to emergency housing assistance and other housing programs, severe cuts to child care and work support programs, and more. There’s nowhere left to cut, and many of these cuts have already gone too far. Continue reading

Act Now! Demand HUD meet the full demand of housing in NW Oregon!

monopolycrop30Street 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