Tag Archives: Oregon ON

Central city’s housing for the poor declines

The Oregon Opportunity Network, or Oregon ON, says a new report by the Portland Development Commission illustrates how affordable housing units for the poorest are slipping out of grasp for many residents. We’re still above 2002 levels, when the benchmark of “No Net Loss” was created, but nearly 1,500 fewer than where we were just 4 years ago.

Between the lines, the report foretells of even tougher times ahead for Oregonians needing housing. They already live in the state that tops the national charts in homelessness (No. 1), unemployment (No. 2) and hunger No.3). It will also be a mighty stress test for our nationally heralded 10-year plan to end homelessness. Two years ago, the feds held it up as epitomizing their prescribed cure to a social cancer. We’ll see how well it ages now.

You can download the complete report from the PDC here.

Here’s the complete statement from Oregon ON:

A recently-released report from the Portland Development Commission shows that housing affordable to Portland’s wealthiest has increased in the central city since 2005, while housing for the poorest has decreased by almost a quarter.

“Despite the City’s well-intended policies, the number of affordable units downtown continues to drop,” said Bobby Weinstock, Housing  Consultant for NW Pilot Project. “The reality is, people who need housing can’t get it.”

The report, compiled by PDC to evaluate the city’s No Net Loss housing  policy, shows the percentage of total rental units in the 0-30% and  31-50% Median Family Income (MFI) categories decreased by almost 23% in the last three years.

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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