OREGON ON THE BEAT February 9th, 2012

Oregon ON News

Meet the Director – this Tuesday, Feb 14
Metro Council Candidates’ Forum on Housing – April 10
Thank you Members for your Crucial Support!



FHDC Staff Given Crystal Apple by Education Foundation


Member News

Bienestar Gets $3M from USDA for Housing
Habitat Lincoln County Comes to Waldport
2011 Successes for Community Alliance of Tenants
Community Alliance of Tenants Welcomes New Staff
Nursing Program Joins NHA to Boost Residents’ Health
Video: NHA Moves Resident off Streets, to Shelter, Housing
Interested in Starting a Micro-Business?
JOIN’s 20th Birthday!
Traveling Science for Kids in Bend, Lebanon, McMinnville, Seaside
NAYA offers Free Tax Filing to Community
NAYA celebrates a New Homeowner!
Community Vision Helps Make a New Homeowner
John Gray Loan Buys Habitat 18 Properties
Wells Gift Funds Urgent Health Services for Low-income Patients
New Program to Assist Unemployed Homeowners
Streamlining Compliance Reverberates Nationally
HDC Community Fund to Offer More, Larger Loans
FHDC Begins Housing Rehab in Sublimity, OR
Letter from the OMEN Board of Directors


Member Media Coverage

NHA Coverage in Lake Oswego Story
NeighborImpact Adds Solar Panels to Madras Townhomes
Mercy Corps, Rose Reinvent the REIT for Lents
4 General Contractors Cast Competition Aside for Art’s Sake
OCPP Report on Undocumented Workers in PBJ


Portland Metro News

Affordable Housing Not in Con-Way Land Use Plan


Regional and Rural News

GroundWorks (Rogue Valley CDC) Dissolves


Statewide News

HUD Awards $14M in Oregon Indian Housing Block Grants
Engage: National Disaster Recovery Framework – WA – March 1


Federal News

Update on the Charitable Deduction
White House New Housing Program Details, more


Training, Conferences and Events

Resource Assistance for Rural Environments Program
3 Offerings from PSU Institute for Nonprofit Management


Reports and Resources

Finanical Regulators Role in Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
Quarter of Oregon Schoolchildren Miss Month of School
CFED Report: 28% of Oregonians are Asset Poor
New Report: Equitable Foreclosure Recovery
Rental Housing as a Neighborhood Stabilization Strategy


One Fun Thing

Habitrail For Humanity Under Fire

Oregon ON News

Meet the Director – this Tuesday, Feb 14 top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Please join Oregon ON at our next Public Forum, Tuesday, February 14:

Meet the Director! With Traci Manning, Director of the Portland Housing Bureau.

Join us as Traci gives an overview of the Bureau’s plans, goals and vision for the coming year. There will be Q and A.

All forums will be held at the First Unitarian Church in downtown Portland. The forums are from 11:30-1:00. Bring your lunch; cookies and coffee provided.

Public Forums are an ongoing program of Oregon Opportunity Network, as part of a grant from the Portland Housing Bureau.  Members, supporters, decision-makers come together to present current topics of interest to the affordable housing community.

Metro Council Candidates’ Forum on Housing – April 10 top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Do you ever wish the Portland metro regional government was more involved in affordable housing? So do we!

Please save the date for a Metro Council Candidates’ Forum on Housing, to be held Tuesday, April 10.

Like our other forums, it will be held from 11:30 – 1pm at the First Unitarian Church, 1011 SW 12th Ave. in downtown Portland.

Thank you Members for your Crucial Support! top

posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Thank you to our renewing members City of Beaverton, Disability Benefits Training & Consulting LLC, Umpqua Bank, Families Forward, Home Forward, Housing Works, and new member Devin Follingstad of Myhre Group Architects!

January/February is an important time of year for Oregon ON’s membership renewals. The dues our members pay make up 22% of our budget, and are our biggest source of flexible operating support. Membership dues allow Oregon ON to conduct crucial work that can be hard to fund through grants, like Policy and Advocacy, and Communications.

In addition to the vital funding it provides to core programs, our illustrious membership rosters help us tap additional funding and other community support and make important connections to further the industry.

If you are an individual or organization who believes in the work of the affordable housing and community development industry and would like to support Oregon ON’s work to make it the best and strongest it can be, please contact Orion Lumiere (email; 503-223-4041 x103) to learn about membership.

It will take us all working together to solve Oregon’s affordable housing crisis!


FHDC Staff Given Crystal Apple by Education Foundation top

posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Yadira Juarez started volunteering with Farmworker Housing Development Corporation in 2005 when they opened their housing community in Salem, Oregon, Colonia Libertad. She was instrumental in developing FHDC’s educational programs at Libertad which have served nearly 500 children since 2005.

In 2006 Yadira was hired as an instructor for FHDC’s Family Literacy Program where she taught pre-kinder children to read and write. In 2007 she accepted the positions of Head Start Instructional Assistant at Washington Elementary School. She remains at Washington Elementary and works part-time in FHDC’s Summer Enrichment Program. In November of 2012 Yadira was awarded the Crystal Apple Award by the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation. These awards are awarded annually to the top educators in the Salem-Keizer area.

Of her love for teaching Yadira said, “I knew very early in my life that I enjoyed working with children. I am drawn to their eagerness to learn, their trusting nature and their inquisitive minds.”

Congratulations Yadira!

Member News

Bienestar Gets $3M from USDA for Housing top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

        Bienestar, a nonprofit based in Hillsboro, is pleased to announce the receipt of an award of $3 million from Rural Development of the United States Department of Agriculture to build an additional 22 apartments for farmworker families at its Juniper Gardens project in Forest Grove, Oregon.  The award was made as part of a national competition and is the only one in Oregon, and one of only ten in the United States. In 2010 Bienestar received $2.4 million from USDA for the first phase of Juniper Gardens, a 24 unit farmworker community, which will break ground this month.

Bienestar is a nonprofit community development corporation providing affordable housing and resident services for 462 low-income families in Aloha, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Hillsboro and Scappoose.  Bienestar’s mission is to build housing, hope and futures for the well-being of working families and seniors.

Bienestar has 30 years of experience in farmworker housing and currently operates 256 multifamily units for farmworkers in Washington and Columbia counties.  The organization provides an extensive suite of resident service programs for its residents to help them move toward self-sufficiency.  Adult programs include ESL, GED, computer and financial literacy classes, community gardens, Job Club, an IDA program, microenterprise, free income tax preparation, nutrition classes, and Promotores providing outreach and referrals to their neighbors.  Youth programs include Homework Clubs, Science Clubs, Summer Reading, Explorador Nature Camp, Financial Fitness for Life, Soccer and Basketball Clubs, special events, Summer Lunch & Fun, Kids Computer Club, Teens’ Build Your Own Computer.  Similar programs are planned for Juniper Gardens.

Bienestar is working with development consultant CASA of Oregon and architecture firm Scott/Edwards on the project.  Juniper Gardens has also received funding through the HOME funds administered by Washington County, and through the Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services.

“We are so grateful to be able to develop new quality affordable housing for farmworker families in Washington County”, says Executive Director Karen Shawcross, adding “Our first farmworker property, Elm Park, was built in 1983 and is a short distance from the Juniper Gardens site. The need for quality, safe, affordable homes with resident services is great for those who provide essential labor in our community. We believe that we have a unique cultural competency in serving farmworker families, and are delighted to be able to provide more homes and services for them.”

For more information, contact Bienestar Executive Director Karen Shawcross at 503.693.2937, Ext. 104.or via email.

Habitat Lincoln County Comes to Waldport top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln County (HFHLC) is proud to announce the purchase of the Lundy property, in Waldport, Oregon. This purchase was made possible by a generous donation from Boopy Bacon and Darlene Pankey, daughters of long-time Waldport resident Frank E. Lundy, and a matching grant from the John Gray Opportunity Fund, and loan from Habitat for Humanity of Oregon. Four Habitat townhomes will be built on this property, located in old town Waldport.

According to his daughters, “our father was a very special person who did much for many.” With his two brothers, Frank owned and operated the Lundy Brothers, Inc. logging company, and then founded Kaward, a crane and marine construction business with two of his grandsons. He served many years on the Waldport City Council, as well as Mayor for 12 years. In addition, Mr. Lundy was a Central Lincoln PUD Board member for 37 years, and was honored for his service by having a substation named after him. He was instrumental in starting the Waldport Chamber of Commerce, he provided years of support to the Shriners Hospital in Portland, and he was awarded the Hiram award, given to a master Mason for his work done on behalf of his masonic lodge.

Daughters Boopy Bacon and Darlene Pankey agreed to sell their father’s property at a much reduced price. When asked why they were willing to do so, they said, “This is something our dad would have done.” Please join us in thanking the Lundy, Pankey and Bacon families.

HFHLC is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, operating as an independent non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of substandard housing.  Relying on donated materials and labor, Habitat for Humanity builds simple, decent and affordable homes for those in need. These homes are then sold to families through a 30-year, zero- percent loan. Since its inception in 1995, HFHLC has built 11 homes: four in Lincoln City, one in Siletz, two in South Beach and four in Toledo.

HFHLC is asking the communities of Waldport and Yachats to come together in support of these builds, scheduled to begin in 2012. For more information on how to support these builds or apply for these homes, please visit our website at www.habitatlincoln.org, or attend informational meetings to be held at the following times and locations:

Waldport: Monday, October 24, 2011, 7 pm at the Waldport Community Center

Newport:  Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 7 pm. at the Newport Library

Help Us Build It!

2011 Successes for Community Alliance of Tenants top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Community Alliance of Tenants had many successes in 2011:

• CAT added 350 new members to our membership this past year.

• CAT volunteers and staff responded to over 1,700 callers to the Renters’ Rights Hotline this year. We were able to answer more calls this year because the Renters’ Rights Hotline went live in 2011. To date we have answered over 36,000 calls on the Hotline.

• CAT worked with the Portland Neighborhood Inspection Program to obtain more funding so that metro renters now have adequate access to building inspections and code violation repairs.

• CAT’s Safe Housing Project identified and organized over 7 large apartment complexes uniting tenants to become the collective voice in holding landlords accountable for major repairs, including mold and bed-bug infestations. Tenants take the lead and succeed with CAT support.

• CAT has been working diligently on Fair Housing issues to address barriers to equitable housing that many tenants face.

As 2012 begins and the Community Alliance of Tenants launches into its 16th   year of tenant advocacy, all of us at CAT would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of our members, volunteers, sustainers, supporters, donors and funders for your tremendous help and support.

Your commitment to our unique and effective programs that fight for rental housing justice enables us to keep up this important work!

 We look forward to a productive and exciting year of being there for tenants, thanks to you.

Click here to become a member of CAT.

Community Alliance of Tenants Welcomes New Staff top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Elisa Harrigan has had a productive 2011, not only did she get married, but she became Executive Director of Community Alliance of Tenants, bringing her 9 years of housing justice experience and knowledge to the table. Elisa represents the Community Alliance of Tenants in the community and meets with community partners and CAT’s Board of Directors on a regular basis. She is responsible for the day to day operations and financial management at CAT. Elisa has the energy and vision to lead CAT to new heights!

CAT welcomes Justin Buri, our new Deputy Director. Justin started at CAT over 2 years ago as a hotline volunteer and then was elected to CAT’s Board of Directors. As a board member, he worked on housing policy and will continue to do this important work with a focus on affordable housing issues. As Deputy Director, he manages major fundraising projects. Additionally, Justin oversees the Renters’ Rights Hotline in the Education Program and is our in house “accidental techie”.

Cristina Palacios, Safe Housing Program Coordinator and a 4 year CAT veteran, continues to do an awesome job of building based activity by organizing and educating tenants in apartment complexes to stand up for their rights. With Cristina’s support and expertise, tenants rally to raise their collective voice to ask for and succeed in asking for much needed repairs. She also gives her time and energy to make sure our Spanish callers are counseled on the Renters’ Rights Hotline.

Nancy Swann has been with CAT for over 6 years, first as a volunteer on the hotline and then as Education Program Assistant. For the past 3 years, Nancy has been the Education Program Director, coordinating the hotline and educational outreach. Going into 2012, she now has a new title and new responsibilities. As Communications Specialist, she is excited to focus on membership relations and communication. Nancy will still oversee educational outreach while continuing to share hotline responsibilities with Justin.

Tenant Coordinator, Dung Ho, began as a volunteer and board member at CAT and has been on staff for almost 3 years. Dung has been the lead in working on the Mold Project where she has worked one on one with tenants not only to improve the quality of their housing but to gather data for a research publication. Dung handles all of our other mold related projects as well. She also coordinates campaigns and special projects and has done a fantastic job of assisting with supervising the hotline. As the Mold Project wraps up, Dung is excited to begin working on other important policy work.

Susan Mund, Program Specialist, recently joined the CAT staff as a part-time contract employee working on special programs and projects to develop and increase community outreach. When Susan moved to Portland from Denver a little over a year ago, the house she rented  was in significant disrepair. She discovered CAT and volunteered on the Renters’ Rights Hotline after she  received helpful tenant information from CAT volunteers. Susan has significant professional experience in nonprofit work from administrative to development. Susan’s passion for social justice and tenants’ rights makes her a great addition to the CAT staff.

CAT is lucky to have Diego Hernandez, CAT Intern, with us this year! Diego is committed to social justice work in Oregon. He has worked for and with a variety of community organizations including OPAL, Environmental Justice Oregon, Western States Center, Oregon Student Association, El Programa Hispano, and UO MEChA.  At CAT, Diego will be concentrating on campaign work, building a new website, answering calls on the Renters’ Rights Hotline, translating written materials into Spanish and helping with the technical side of things. Diego keeps very busy-he is also a student in the Masters of Social Work Program at Portland State University.

Go to CAT Website

Nursing Program Joins NHA to Boost Residents’ Health top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

from Northwest Housing Alternative’s newsletter

At Northwest Housing Alternatives, Inc., the health and wellness of our residents is a primary concern. Providing affordable housing helps our residents save money for medicine and healthy food, and with the help of local community partners, we can do even more.

In 2008, NHA’s Resident Services department began searching for a way to help our tenants manage their health between doctor visits. The Mount Hood Community College’s Nursing Program stepped up and has become one of NHA’s most important community partners. The collaboration provides residents with preventative health screenings while students fulfill clinical hours, getting real-life nursing experience.

The partnership began when MHCC nursing students arrived at NHA’s Mayfield Court with their instructor David Dale. As residents filed into the community room, they paired off with students and began screening procedures to detect any developing medical issues. Students performed heart and lung checks, blood pressure and vision screenings, and balance assessments. Students also spoke to residents one-on-one about fall prevention, how to recognize illnesses, cholesterol and healthy diet habits, and answered questions that tenants had about their medications.

Special thanks go out to David Dale whose dedication to NHA’s residents has been amazing. David never misses a visit and his devotion of time and energy to Mayfield Court has helped him form strong bonds with our tenants. When a resident had a stroke and spent time in a rehabilitation facility, David’s clinical visits happened to take him to the same facility. He carried messages between the facility and Mayfield Court, bringing news, updates, and even the occasional card for tenants to sign for their friend.
With a need for more clinical hours, the partnership expanded to include NHA properties Village at the Headwaters and the Roselyn Apartments. Dental hygiene students also joined the nursing students, providing more comprehensive oral exams that pinpointed developing issues.

With NHA’s Resident Services Coordinator, Julia Doty, onsite during the clinical visits, tenants are able to have medical issues addressed more quickly. Nursing and dental hygiene students bring tenant medical issues to Julia, who helps the residents find solutions in the form of local community resources.

Recently a tenant mentioned to a nursing student that he was interested in weight loss but because of osteoarthritis he wasn’t able to do much walking. The nursing student suggested that a recumbent stationary bicycle would allow the tenant to get exercise to help with weight loss activity without affecting his knees. Julia was able to solicit a donated recumbent bike from the community and delivered it to the property. Now the resident can get the exercise he needs and has lost weight without causing damage to his knees.

The unwavering enthusiasm of David Dale and the Mount Hood Community College students has made them one of NHA’s most important community partners–their commitment to NHA has helped improve our residents’ health and given them information and the tools necessary to stay well. From everyone here at NHA, thank you to David, Mount Hood Community College, and to every student who has participated in this partnership!

Video: NHA Moves Resident off Streets, to Shelter, Housing top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Here is a link to a video Northwest Housing Alternatives, Inc. produced in-house about Tina, a recent resident who transitioned from homeless, to the Annie Ross House, into their on-campus Transitional Housing, and on to permanent affordable housing developed by NHA.


Interested in Starting a Micro-Business? top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Hacienda CDC is offering a comprehensive, culturally specific, three year business incubator program for Latino food entrepreneurs in the Portland Metro Area.

What are the benefits of being in the program?

The program balances the financial and educational needs of its participants by creating an educational model that is hands-on.  Participants will experience running a business (with all its failures and successes) with the support of the program and mentors. Participants will:

Be empowered with the knowledge they need to run a business, from tracking sales to licenses and permits to marketing their business.

  •      Assist with (and eventually take over) the management of their micro-business
  •       Meet regularly with a mentor who is a professional in his or her field
  •       Be able to use Hacienda’s commercial kitchen to sell tamales in local area farmers markets and gain access to other food vending opportunities
  •       Earn money their families need and save for the launching of their own, independent, small business.

What would each year of the program look like?

Year One: Participants will complete Customer Service Training, learn how to manage their business finances, attend community education classes of their choice (ex. ESL class), create an individual technical assistance plan, and work with their mentor.  They will also complete the “Getting My Business Started” class (Arrancando Mi Negocio) in Spanish. To generate income and to learn through hands-on experience, participants will sell traditional foods at farmers markets.

Year Two: Participants will continue to learn how to manage their businesses’ finances, meet with their mentor and attend community educational classes.  They will also complete training on Catering in the US and start implementing their technical assistance plan.  Participants will continue to sell traditional foods at farmers markets but will also learn about catering, customer service, and have other trainings relevant to opening a food business.  They may also enroll in small business Individual Development Accounts to start saving to capitalize their business start-up on completing their time in the Incubator. By the end of the year, they will completed their business plan.

Year Three: Participants will continue to learn about how to manage their businesses’ finances, meet with their mentor, implement their technical assistance and attend community educational classes. They will also complete trainings on Marketing Your Small Business and Restaurant/Food Cart Management. During this time, they can continue to have a booth at Farmers Markets or cater, but the main goal is implementation of a soft launch of their business.

Post Graduation: Participants will become members of our alumni network of independent, Latino business owners.

Who can apply?

You can apply on your own or with a partner.

Please read the following criteria carefully and ensure that you or you and your partner meet all of the criteria before applying.  Please note that if you apply with a partner and the partner withdraws from the program, you will be withdrawn from the program as well.  Prior to applying, you or you and your partner must:

  •  Have a desire to launch your own, independent food and/or catering business that reflects your cultural heritage, a passion to share your cultural heritage with others and a commitment to complete the program.
  •      Read and write at the 6th grade level in Spanish or higher
  •       Have reliable access to transportation
  •       Have an email inbox that you check twice weekly
  •       Have a reliable phone line that you check daily
  •       Be able to communicate promptly and professionally and in English when necessary
  •       Be able to work independently, be flexible when changes are needed and think creatively
  •       Be comfortable using or learning how to use Microsoft Office Suite
  •       Have basic math skills
  •       Have a commitment to be on time

Understand that the goal of this program is to support program participants with free educational and technical support while they take the lead in developing their businesses.  This is not a guarantee that participants’ business will be profitable. Also, though Hacienda will help participants find financial assistance, they will be responsible for the majority of the expenses of their micro-businesses.

Have a copy of your Oregon ID/Consulate registration, a Federal tax return for 2011 or W2s from 2011 and a copy of food handler’s card (if you have one).

I’m interested in applying! How do I apply?

Since this is a pilot program, there are only five spots for the year 2012-2013.  Interested applicants must apply by March 14th in order to be considered.  For an application and/or information in Spanish, please contact Nathan Teske at (503) 459-7725 or via email. In order to further review your application, we may:

Interview you to ensure that you are committed and prepared to be in the program

Ask you to prepare a tamale tasting for the interview

JOIN’s 20th Birthday! top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

This year is JOIN’s 20th Birthday!  We are inviting you – our wonderful supporters – to help us celebrate by “giving” your birthday to JOIN.  You can…

…host a birthday party and ask friends to bring a donation for JOIN in lieu of gifts,

…set up a personalized fundraising page to solicit donations from your loved ones in honor of your birthday and ours,

..and any other fun and creative ideas you may have!  Click below to find out more about Birthdays for JOIN.

Find out more!

Traveling Science for Kids in Bend, Lebanon, McMinnville, Seaside top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Wells Fargo is bringing educational programs from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland to thousands of local elementary students in four other Oregon cities.

A $10,000 grant will fund the OMSI outreach to four schools in Bend, Lebanon, McMinnville and Seaside that have a large number of low-income students.

OMSI has a large number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs designed to engage and educate children. The museum’s Traveling Program offerings range from one-hour classroom presentations to all-school assemblies and even a portable planetarium.

The potential subjects include biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, engineering, and space science. Each school benefitting from the Wells Fargo grant will have the opportunity to schedule the programs of their choice in 2012, based on their students’ and teachers’ needs.

“We are grateful for Wells Fargo’s generosity,” said OMSI President Nancy Stueber. “This gift will enable us to extend our hands-on science learning programming to students who might otherwise not have the means to visit OMSI.”

The aim of the program is to improve student proficiency in STEM subjects; motivate students to pursue related careers; and provide teachers with increased skills, access to resources and familiarity with presenting these subjects.

Wells Fargo also sponsored this program last year, enabling OMSI to deliver education programming to 2,191 Oregon students at four schools in Central Point, Warrenton, Redmond and Pendleton.

“Wells Fargo is a long-time supporter of OMSI and education,” said Wells Fargo Regional President Don Pearson of Portland. “We look to make grants such as this one, which will help low-income students in multiple cities around the state and not just in one limited area.”

Wells Fargo has repeatedly been named one of the most generous corporations in Oregon and the nation. The financial services company donates more than $1 million annually to schools and nonprofit agencies in Oregon and southwest Washington. Education is one of the primary focus areas of its corporate contributions in this region.

NAYA offers Free Tax Filing to Community top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

The Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) tax site is now in it’s fifth filing season and we are honored to have served so many community members. Last year, the tax site prepared and filed 510 tax returns, refunding just about $780,000 in federal and state refunds directly to the community. For low and moderate income families, the tax preparation fees at commercial tax prep can cost $80 – $200 or more. In fact, if the 510 families that came here for free tax prep had used commercial preparers, we estimate that over $57,000 would have gone to tax prep fees alone. In addition, many lower income families are unfairly targeted for high interest predatory refund loans costing even more money.

This year we are greatly increasing the capacity of the site to serve even more families and individuals with free tax services, helping to increase our community’s stability and security even more!

The site is open February 1st – April 14th, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-7:30 pm and Saturdays 9 am – noon. The site is “appointment preferred,” but there will be a limited amount of walk-in availability each day on a first-come, first served basis. We are also offering an option for “self-prep”, where people can prepare their own returns using regular, commercial tax software and e-file their state and federal returns for free; for incomes less than $58,000. This service is walk-in only and no appointment is required.

For more information, including what to bring to your appointment, please visit http://www.nayapdx.org/taxes. To schedule an appointment, call 503-288-8177 x319.

NAYA celebrates a New Homeowner! top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Lisa Archuleta (Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde) was tired of paying rent and wanted the safety and stability of homeownership. Lisa and her son Miguel decided to move in with family members to cut costs and save money. Working with Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)‘s Homeownership program, Lisa attended homebuyer education classes and opened a match savings account with NAYA’s Individual Development Account program.

Lisa was looking for a home in the neighborhood she wanted and at a price that she could afford. Through NAYA’s partnership with Proud Ground, Lisa found the home that she was looking for. The formerly foreclosed home was renovated and weatherized by NAYA Construction Services, a construction trades training program. Lisa was also able to use a down payment assistance grant from her Tribe to increase affordability.

Lisa shared, “Everyone on my home buying team was very helpful. My Realtor, Bev Mayorga (Chickasaw) was exceptional; she took me step by step through the home buying process. I could call her any time day or night and this was very reassuring to me.”

Lisa and her son Miguel love their new home, “It has everything we planned for. I am so blessed and thankful for what the Creator has provided us and thankful for the people and resources that have helped us. I feel a great sense of security; we now have an investment for the future. This is quite an accomplishment!”

Community Vision Helps Make a New Homeowner top

posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

from Rebecca Miller, Community Vision’s Asset Programs Manager, 2/8/12

Congratulations to Jean P. on achieving her dream of homeownership!  Pictured at right, Jean P signs docs while friend Jessicah looks on.  Jean saved for her down payment through Community Vision‘s Future Assets for Independence Program, a matched savings (IDA) program where participant savings are matched 5:1 when the participant completes financial education curriculum and meets all of their savings goals.  Way to go Jean!  HomeStreet Bank, Portland Housing Center, and Community Frameworks provided the financing for her purchase.

ROSE Community Development was awarded a number of distressed properties through the Portland Housing Bureau.  Proud Ground and Community Vision partnered with Rose CDC to make one home accessible and affordable for generations to come.  Rose CDC accommodated Jean’s requests for a beautiful new roll-in shower and wood flooring in the living spaces to make it easy for her to move around.

I was lucky enough to be at Jean’s signing and delivered a lovely hand knit afghan from a generous donor and card signed by all the staff at CVI.  Jean shared tears of joy with everyone present and she was ready to get moved in!  We are hosting a work party on February 24th to finish the a few outdoor projects at the home.  Jean will be on hand, so if you’d like to hear more about her experience and see her beautiful new rehabbed home for yourself, please let me know.  Thanks to all of our colleagues and staff for their hard work to see this through and, most of all, thanks to Jean for sharing her story and allowing us to be such a big part of her life.

John Gray Loan Buys Habitat 18 Properties top

posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Habitat for Humanity of Oregon is pleased to announce the successful purchase of 18 pieces of bare property throughout Oregon during 2011.  Habitat for Humanity of Oregon was able to provide property loans to the affiliate offices because of a generous donation by Oregon developer John Gray.  Mr. Gray’s intent with his donation to Habitat for Humanity of Oregon was to enable the Habitat for Humanity affiliate offices throughout Oregon to take advantage of the currently low property prices.

The Lincoln County Habitat for Humanity affiliate is an excellent example of how Habitat for Humanity of Oregon succeeded in fulfilling John Gray’s intent.  Sally Bovett, executive director of the Lincoln County Habitat for Humanity believes that the John Gray Loan allowed their office to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity in Waldport, Oregon.  The central coast affiliate struggles with locating affordable, flat property within their county.  The John Gray Loan allowed them to seek out property in the Waldport area and negotiate the price because they had the resources available.  The affiliate found two parcels of flat land that would allow them to build four houses in the next two years.  The property was assessed for $79,000 and because of their new ability to negotiate the purchase price was $55,000.  Thanks to the John Gray Loan, the total cost of the property for the affiliate was $13,450.  Sally strongly feels that this purchase has made all the difference in the sustainability of their affiliate and provided an anchor for their future.

The story of the Lincoln County Habitat for Humanity is a true example of a win-win for all.  The family that sold the property has a long connection with the community of Waldport.  Sally asked the family why they decided to sell the property and all four generations that attended the kickoff/photo opportunity event stated, “It’s what our Dad would have wanted us to do.”

The mission of Habitat for Humanity of Oregon is to help provide safe, affordable and decent housing in Oregon.  The Lincoln County Habitat for Humanity and the John Gray Loan fund are working together to make that mission a reality.

Habitat for Humanity of Oregon created the John Gray Fund.  Affiliates were awarded grants from the fund in a 3:1 structure.  Funds were matched with the Revolving Loan Fund and the John Gray Fund to allow for the purchase of the 18 pieces of bare property throughout Oregon.  The partnership of the two funds provided over $860,000 to the affiliates for the purchase of the property.  The results were so successful that a second round of funding has begun for the 2012 year.

For more information, please contact info@habitatoregon.org.

Wells Gift Funds Urgent Health Services for Low-income Patients top

posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

More uninsured residents of Clark County will be able to receive free medical and dental services, thanks to the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington and Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo donated $5,000 to the clinic in Clark County, which provides free healthcare to children and adults who are otherwise unable to access such services. The facility is the largest free clinic in Washington. It will use the funds to support urgent services for uninsured patients.

“Thanks to Wells Fargo, our volunteer physicians and dentists will have resources to provide high quality health care,” said Barbe West, executive director of the clinic at 4100 Plomondon St.

Wells Fargo has repeatedly been named one of the most generous companies in the nation.

“Health services and education for low-income residents is among the central focus areas of our corporate philanthropy in Southwest Washington,” said Wells Fargo Community Banking District Manager Amanda Dolley of Vancouver. “We partner with nonprofit agencies such as the Free Clinic to support the great work they do to improve our communities.”

To schedule an appointment at the clinic, call (360) 313-1390.

New Program to Assist Unemployed Homeowners top

posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

On January 25, Hacienda CDC began its role as the Multnomah County agency for the Mortgage Payment Assistance Unemployment (MPAU) Program. This program provides assistance to homeowners currently unemployed and collecting unemployment benefits. Homeowners will receive up to one year or $20,000 in assistance, whichever comes first.

Potential applicants can determine their eligibility on the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative (OHSI) website.  Please contact Jorge Fernando Guzmán with specific questions. Hacienda will be providing support in both Spanish and English.

Streamlining Compliance Reverberates Nationally top

posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Building on the work of Oregon’s Streamlining Compliance Initiative, a report issued by the federal Rental Policy Work Group used data assembled by Housing Development Center to argue for the elimination of redundant physical inspections of federally funded housing projects. (Read the full report here.)

Composed of representatives of the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC), National Economic Council (NEC), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Agriculture (USDA), and the Treasury, the Rental Policy Work Group is tasked with better aligning the operation of federal rental policy across agencies. Of 10 policy proposals in the December 31 report, Federal Rental Alignment: Administrative Proposals, the first addresses a primary concern of the Streamlining Compliance Initiative: eliminating redundant physical inspections.

“Today, a property that has multiple Federal funding sources may be subject to multiple physical inspections using multiple physical inspection standards,” the proposal states. “This proposal recommends that various Federal funding sources could reduce the frequency and number of inspections to no more than one Federally-sponsored visit to each property per year.”

The Rental Policy Work Group proposal affirms and magnifies the success of Oregon’s Streamlining Compliance Initiative, says HDC Asset Management Project Manager Emily Schelling. Launched in 2009, the Streamlining Compliance Initiative created a common set of compliance monitoring protocols for 10 agencies that distribute federal CDGB and HOME funds in Oregon—“participating jurisdictions” in federal parlance. Initiated by the Property and Asset Management Working Group and carried out over two years by representatives the 10 funding jurisdictions, the initiative sought to massively reduce costs borne by housing providers and funders for redundant physical inspections, file reviews and financial reports. Rolled out across the state this month, the program is expected to save Oregon’s affordable housing system $4 million per year.

“That this issue is being recognized as a high priority at the federal level shows that we’re working at the vanguard of improving rental housing practices,” says Schelling, one of several Housing Development staff who provided ongoing leadership and support to the statewide streamlining initiative.

The report also indicates that savings to the affordable housing system will greatly compound if the rest of the country follows Oregon’s lead.

“Per industry estimates of the cost of a Federal physical inspection for their properties, at an estimated cost of foregone staff time of $2,000/inspection, costs for 22,546 duplicative inspections could total up to $45 million per year, nationally,” the report states. “By conducting aligned inspections on just LIHTC combined funding properties, savings realized within one year would be up to approximately $24 million.”

The authors cite a Housing Development Center study as its source for the $2,000-per-inspection figure.

Schelling notes that Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS), a key participant in the Streamlining Compliance Initiative, was particularly instrumental in moving the compliance-streamlining issue to the federal agenda. Outreach efforts by OHCS and HDC have already produced concrete results: in November, Oregon became one of eight states to join a HUD-sponsored pilot rollout of a national streamlining initiative. (See the December 21 news post on this page.)

Both locally and nationally, the benefits of these policy reform efforts go beyond saving money, Schelling emphasizes: “With a lighter administrative burden, property managers will be freed up to focus on core work, maintaining buildings and responding to tenant needs. And residents will be spared needless intrusions on their privacy. The result will be a better living environment for low-income residents—in Oregon and, soon, throughout the country.”

For more information about the Streamlining Compliance Initiative, contact Ryan Miller, manager of the Program Compliance Section, Asset & Property Management Division, Oregon Housing and Community Services (503-986-6748); Javier Mena, Program Manager, Asset Management & Loan Servicing, Portland Housing Bureau (503-823-3377); or contact your local HOME participating jurisdiction in Oregon. Questions about the origins of the Streamlining Compliance Initiative may be directed to Emily Schelling, Project Manager, Asset Management Program, Housing Development Center (503-335-3668).

HDC Community Fund to Offer More, Larger Loans top

posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

HDC Special Projects Manager Carolyn O’Doherty (pictured left) is taking on a new project: getting the word out that the HDC Community Fund has capital it wants to lend.

“Our loan pool is twice the size it was last year, thanks to a $500,000 grant we received last July from the U.S. Treasury,” O’Doherty says. “We want to get that money moving forward projects in the community.”

A certified Community Development Financial Institution founded in 2009, the HDC Community Fund provides loans for property developments that serve low-income individuals and communities. To meet the unique needs of its market, the fund offers flexible payment terms, low interest rates and quick turnarounds. Loans support early, urgent and difficult-to-fund development costs, such as feasibility studies and property acquisition. They can also be used to bridge gaps in construction financing for up to three years.

Past loans from the HDC Community Fund have helped build 163 units of affordable housing and 25,000 square feet of service facility space since 2009, leveraging $38.4 million in permanent financing. Projects include Cascade Meadows, Hood River’s first affordable senior housing project, and the Rockwood Building, a mixed-use housing and multiservice center in Gresham.

With credit markets tight, O’Doherty wants not-for-profit organizations developing or preserving community facilities and affordable housing to know that for qualifying borrowers, the HDC Community Fund offers an alternative to conventional lending programs.

“We lend to public housing authorities, nonprofit housing developers, social service agencies and other nonprofits,” O’Doherty says. “If an organization is developing a property that serves low-income people, and it’s based in Oregon or southwest Washington, we may be able to help.” Projects must be located in one of 17 Oregon counties or three Washington counties; a map of eligible counties will soon be available on HDC’s web site.

O’Doherty adds, “And since we recently boosted our maximum loan size from $200,000 to $250,000, we can help more than ever.”

For more information, contact Carolyn O’Doherty, HDC Community Fund program development manager, at via email or 503-528-5186; or Daryn Murphy, HDC Community Fund underwriter, via email or 503-528-5183.

FHDC Begins Housing Rehab in Sublimity, OR top

posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

In 2011, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation was awarded grant funding through the Oregon Housing and Community Services to acquire, preserve, and rehab two existing multifamily affordable housing projects in Sublimity and Stayton, Oregon. As part of the purchase in September, USDA Rural Development also awarded both properties rental subsidy on 100% of the units, dramatically lowering the effective rents that the residents pay monthly. The rehab for the project in Sublimity, known as Summerset Village, began in early January of 2012. Summerset Village provides a home to over 25 low-income seniors and disabled people, and was scheduled to convert to market rate housing before FHDC acquired it. The purchase prevented the loss of vital senior housing stock in a rural Oregon community with an agriculture-based workforce.
About the rehab:
Built in 1983, Summerset Village was highly in need of a sustainable rehab in order to last well into the future and provide for greater resident comfort. For example, the building envelope and weatherization improvements such as roof, siding, and window replacements will result in a more energy-efficient building, lowering expensive heating costs.. Additionally, new plumbing fixtures and irrigation controls will reduce the water use at the property

Letter from the OMEN Board of Directors top

posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

from Kathleen Flanagan, Interim Board President, 1/26/2012

It is important to us to keep our members and partners informed as we move into this new year of opportunity.  Please take a few moments to read the attached letter from the OMEN Board of Directors.

If you have any questions, please address them to Danny Crossman. Thank you.

Member Media Coverage

NHA Coverage in Lake Oswego Story top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Below is a story The Lake Oswego Review did recently about the city’s exclusion of affordable housing in their Foothills redevelopment.  The article mentions Northwest Housing Alternatives, their latest development Oakridge Park (the first affordable housing developed in Lake Oswego in 30 years) and quotes ED Martha McLennan.

[Ed. note: Tom Cusack of the splendid Oregon Housing Blog happens to live in Lake Oswego :) and has been active in this issue; click here to learn more]

“How low do we go? Citizens asked to share their thoughts on affordable housing”
By Kara Hansen Murphey, The Lake Oswego Review, Feb 2, 2012

In 2005, a task force charged with identifying affordable housing needs found that Lake Oswego lacks enough options for young families, senior citizens and many people who work in the city.

Years later, the city has seen only one affordable housing project completed.
Whether affordable housing comes back onto the public agenda could depend on an ongoing effort to update Lake Oswego’s comprehensive plan, a roadmap for the community’s future development.

Click here to read more

NeighborImpact Adds Solar Panels to Madras Townhomes top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012
“Solar Panels Being Added to Madras Townhomes,” from KTVZ.COM News Sources, February 3, 2012

MADRAS, Ore. — NeighborImpact, in partnership with Oregon Housing and Community Services, will be installing a 68,000-watt solar panel system on three buildings at the Madras Townhomes complex in Madras.

Financial support for this project originated from a US Department of Energy (DOE) grant through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. Besides NeighborImpact, only four other community action agencies throughout Oregon received this grant.

“This grant was a great opportunity to bring a large scale solar project to Central Oregon,” commented Laura Fritz, Housing Center Director at NeighborImpact. “Just as energy use increased with the onset of colder weather this program will enable Madras Townhomes residents to save money on their electric bills.”

Click here to read more.

Mercy Corps, Rose Reinvent the REIT for Lents top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Portland Business Journals, 2/6/12

Mercy Corps NW, in partnership with ROSE Community Development, thinks it may have found a way to help renters profit when property values rise in their neighborhoods.

Click here to read more

4 General Contractors Cast Competition Aside for Art’s Sake top

posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
BY: Lindsey O’Brien, DJC Oregon, February 6, 2012 

Victoria Frey, fourth from left, executive director of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, speaks during a project meeting at the group’s future West End headquarters. (Photo by Sam Tenney/DJC)

A small, local nonprofit is seeking to gain visibility by moving into Portland’s up-and-coming West End, and four of the region’s leading general contracting companies are casting aside old rivalries to help out.

The 419 Building on Southwest 10th Avenue is known for its checkerboard facade, but it has sat vacant for more than 10 years. Now, owner Richard Singer is rehabilitating the building, and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art is planning to move its offices into the third-floor space next month.

But for PICA to take on the massive tenant improvement project, it needed to take advantage of the connections it has made in the construction industry since it was founded in 1995. In an unprecedented partnership, Howard S. Wright, Walsh Construction, Andersen Construction and Lease Crutcher Lewis all are donating labor and materials as they work together to transform the 5,900-square-foot interior space.

Click here to read more.

OCPP Report on Undocumented Workers in PBJ top

posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

“Report: Undocumented workers pay taxes,” Portland Business Journal, January 27, 2012

Undocumented workers generate up to $552 million in local, state and federal taxes, according to a study released Wednesday.

The Oregon Center for Public Policy released the report identifying the economic impact of the state’s 110,000 to 220,000 undocumented worker.

Click here to read the story.

Portland Metro News

Affordable Housing Not in Con-Way Land Use Plan top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

“Ideas tossed around for redevelopment of Northwest Portland Con-way site” Lee Fehrenbacher, DJC Oregon, February 2, 2012

A few issues remain to be ironed out at the Con-way development site in Northwest Portland.

On Wednesday evening, Con-way Vice President of Corporate Development J. Craig Boretz joined GBD Architects principal Phil Beyl, Mill Creek Residential Trust Vice President of Development Sam Rodriguez and Northwest District Association President Ron Walters at the Lucky Lab Beer Hall in Northwest Portland to present an update of their efforts to develop a master plan for the project. The event, which was organized by the Portland Urban Land Institute Young Leaders Group, drew approximately 90 people.

“Probably the biggest open issue is in the location of open spaces – i.e., parks,” Beyl said in an interview before the presentation.

Click here to read more.

Regional and Rural News

GroundWorks (Rogue Valley CDC) Dissolves top

posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

“Housing woes hit affordability project: GroundWorks in Ashland dissolves after hitting too many obstacles; group steps in to operate existing homes”

By Vickie Aldous, for the Mail Tribune, 2/7/12

An organization that provided affordable housing in the Rogue Valley for 20 years has closed down, shuttered by troubles with an Ashland project and a real estate crash that left a glut of cheap homes on the market.

Medford-based GroundWorks Community Development, formerly known as the Rogue Valley Community Development Corp., dissolved at the end of 2011 after finishing the Rice Park affordable housing project near the Ashland Dog Park, said John Wheeler, the group’s former executive director.

“Once we finished Rice Park and the families moved in, we took a look at the books and we didn’t have what it took to carry on,” he said. “The board decided to dissolve it.”

Click here to read more.

Statewide News

HUD Awards $14M in Oregon Indian Housing Block Grants top

posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on 2/8/12 awarded $13,998,790 in Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) allocations to eight tribes in Oregon.  IHBG funds are distributed annually under a formula to eligible tribes or their tribally-designated housing entities for a range of affordable housing activities.

The awards are part of some $404 million distributed nationwide today.  An additional $250 million in IHBG funds are still to be allocated among Native American communities throughout the country this year. IHBG funds are intended to primarily benefit low-income families living on Indian reservations or in other communities. The amount of each grant is based on a formula that considers local needs and housing units under management by the tribe or designated entity.

“These funds are making a real difference in tribal communities each and every day,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Projects include affordable housing, infrastructure upgrades, community centers and safety programs that every community needs to thrive. These efforts are part of a broader commitment to ensure Native American communities can build their economies in response to their needs and as they see fit.”

“Affordable housing is a critical need in Indian Country,” said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. “These HUD funds will assist tribes in meeting their housing needs through sustainable and innovative practices that reflect their culture, heritage, and environmental stewardship.”

The Oregon tribes receiving awards today are:

Burns Paiute Tribe Burns  $           253,599
Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw Coos Bay  $           834,407
Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Reservation Siletz  $        3,858,740
Coquille Indian Housing Authority Coos Bay  $        1,023,270
Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians Roseburg  $           915,069
Grand Ronde Tribal Housing Authority Grand Ronde  $        3,223,596
Klamath Indian Tribe of Oregon Chiloquin  $        2,373,011
Warm Springs Housing Authority Warm Springs  $        1,517,098

Eligible activities for the funds include housing development, assistance to housing developed under the Indian Housing Program, housing services to eligible families and individuals, crime prevention and safety, and model activities that provide creative approaches to solving affordable housing problems. The block grant approach to housing was enabled by the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA).

Engage: National Disaster Recovery Framework – WA – March 1 top

posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

National Disaster Recovery Framework – Stakeholder Engagement Seminar

Register by February 13th

Please join FEMA Region X for our National Disaster Recovery Framework Stakeholder Engagement Forum.  This will be a full day of engaging dialogue and work sessions to help us both learn and work together to accomplish whole community recovery in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. PLEASE SHARE THIS INVITE WIDELY to help us outreach to our communities.


Thursday, March 1, 2012
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.

Joe R. Hooper U.S. Army Reserve Center
130 A 228th St SW
Bothell, WA 98021
Map it»

There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is required by February 13th 2012

Lunch is on your own and reimbursement for travel expenses will not be provided.

What is NDRF?

The National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) is a new guide that provides a more comprehensive and inclusive approach for disaster-impacted state, local and tribal jurisdictions as they recover from disasters utilizing a whole community doctrine.  The NDRF is designed to enable disaster recovery managers to operate in a unified and collaborative manner as they work together with all community interests to restore quality of life, rebuild infrastructure, and revitalize economic and environmental vitality in the aftermath of disasters.

Created in line with the vision set forward in the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 and Presidential Policy Directive 8, the NDRF is the result of extensive stakeholder input and outreach in all ten FEMA regions and communities across the country.

The goal of the NDRF is to help build a more resilient nation – one in which individuals, communities and our economy can better withstand and recover from disasters.

Who Should Attend?

  • Federal, State, Tribal and Community Leadership
  • Public and Private Disaster Recovery Partners
  • Access and Functional Needs and Disability Integration Partners
    • Policy- and Decision-Makers
    • Non-Profit and Advocacy Organizations
    • Educational and Academic Partners
    • Community Planners

How to Register: Space is Limited!

Please provide Lois Lopez via email with your name and email address to be added to the invitation and registration email list.  After you get on the list, a detailed email will follow with instructions on how to register for this key day, and materials to review as you prepare for a full day of dialogue.  It is important that you electronically register due to both limited space, and to ensure that requested accommodations are provided.  Webinar will be available for some of the day’s activities.

Access and Functional Needs Accommodations:

If you or a representative of your agency or organization needs an accommodation or would like to obtain FEMA materials in an alternative format, please indicate your need on the registration form.  Instruction on your electronic registration will follow in a detailed email.

March 1 NDRF Seminar: Event Objectives

Participants attending the NDRF Stakeholder Seminar will:

  • Learn more about the National Disaster Recovery Framework and give feedback in plenary sessions and live dialogue with FEMA leadership, and various state and local officials.
  • Attend Morning and Afternoon Breakout Work Sessions designed to examine the NDRF’s six Recovery Support Functions or RSFs, their impact on future recovery operations, and how your organization, community, or agency can best interface and be supported by the RSFs following a large scale or catastrophic disaster. The six RSFs are:
  • Community Planning & Capacity Building (FEMA/DHS)
  • Health and Social Services (HHS)
  • Infrastructure Systems (USACE)
  • Economic (Dept of Commerce)
  • Housing (HUD)
  • Natural and Cultural Resources (Dept of Interior)
  • Engage in Active Dialogue to highlight the assumptions, best practices, challenges and resource needs identified during the breakout groups. Participants will also reflect on how the NDRF can be implemented in their local communities and jurisdictions.

We Need Your Support

This NDRF Stakeholder Seminar will present ideas for discussion, and will provide participants an opportunity to continue the conversation of how the principles of the NDRF and its inclusive concepts will work in your community. Your participation will also serve as a springboard to the guidance development for recovery plan templates in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

FEMA and our state partners need your help to pave the path forward.  We look to you for your experience, ideas, and active participation.

Prepare for the Event

It is highly recommended you review the NDRF prior to attending this event.  A limited number of printed copies of the NDRF will be available during the seminar for reference use.  We encourage you to download and review your copy from www.fema.gov/recoveryframework.   Please review the six Recovery Support Functions.  As part of the registration process, you will be asked to select the Breakout Session that corresponds with the RSF that you would like to participate in.

Federal News

Update on the Charitable Deduction top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

from Nonprofit Association of Oregon, 2/1/12

We’ve got good news! Last fall, the Nonprofit Association of Oregon reached out to our members to ask them to join us in signing on to a national nonprofit community letter urging our elected officials in Washington D.C. to preserve the charitable deduction. Congratulations! It looks like our collective efforts are paying off.

Many of those connected to this campaign watched last Tuesday’s State of the Union address with interest and speculated about the future of the charitable deduction given the president’s focus on eliminating deductions for the wealthiest taxpayers. On Friday the Nonprofit Quarterly reported receiving an unsolicited comment from a White House official “who noted on background that while the President’s Blueprint for an America Built to Last does contain a provision eliminating tax deductions for taxpayers making over $1 million, the proposal would not apply to charitable deductions.”

Today, the Chronicle of Philanthropy confirmed the President’s commitment to “ensure his efforts to force the richest Americans to pay more taxes do not hurt people who make big donations to charity.”

We don’t know where this will ultimately land, but for now it’s great news and we thank all of those Oregon nonprofits that signed on to the letter and helped us send an important message to Washington D.C.

White House New Housing Program Details, more top

posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

from Enterprise Capitol Experess, 2/8/12

White House Releases Details on New Housing Programs Announced During the State of the Union Address

On Feb. 1, the White House released a fact sheet detailing new proposals aimed at helping homeowners and supporting the recovery of the housing market. An expanded mortgage refinance program, changes to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and a Homeowner Bill of Rights were among the proposals outlined in the fact sheet. Learn More about the Obama Administration’s New Housing Proposals

 Fannie Mae Announces Pre-Qualification Process for Investors Interested in New REO Initiative

Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on Feb. 1 the first step of a Real-Estate Owned (REO) initiative that is aimed at reducing the large inventory of government-owned vacant and foreclosed properties. More Information on the New REO Initiative

Proposed Transit Rule Would Provide Incentives for Affordable Housing

On Jan. 25, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) released a proposed rule for the Major Capital Investments Program, also known as New Starts/Small Starts, which would award jurisdictions for the preservation and development of affordable housing near transit. Learn More about the New Proposed Transit Rule for the New Starts/Small Starts Program

Administration to Release FY 2013 Budget Request Amidst Congressional Budget Actions and Projections

As the Administration prepares to release its fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget request on Feb. 13, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 to 2022 outlining its annual baseline budget projections. In addition, majority members of the House Committee on the Budget have introduced a package of ten bills aimed at overhauling the federal budget process, and committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) is expected to release a FY 2013 budget proposal in mid-March. For more information on key housing and community development funding proposals in the President’s FY 2013 budget request, please register for Enterprise Community Partner’s live webinar from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Feb. 15.

Training, Conferences and Events

Resource Assistance for Rural Environments Program top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

The Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) program, an AmeriCorps program administered by the University of Oregon’s Community Service Center, is currently recruiting.

Each year we place 25-30 graduate level participants in Oregon’s rural communities to work on community development projects for an 11 month period. The RARE program is now in its 18th year, and we have made more than 395 placements.  This year we are supporting 29 participants who are working in communities from Astoria to Lakeview. At this point, we are beginning to recruit communities to apply for the RARE program during the 2012-2013 year.

Please review the attached flyer below and go to http://rare.uoregon.edu for more detailed information.  Feel free to pass this on to your networks. If you have any questions, or if your community organization wants to learn about how to get a graduate placed with you, please contact Program Assistant Titus Tomlinson at 541.346.2879 or via email.

RARE Call for Community Applications 2012

Community Service Center | Resource Assistance for Rural Environments

http://csc.uoregon.edu | http://csc.uoregon.edu/rare/


3 Offerings from PSU Institute for Nonprofit Management top

posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

The PSU Institute for Nonprofit Management would like to spread the word about the following:

The first is an opportunity that Financial Steward Resources is offering — New Board Member Training. Information about this full-day session to be held on the Portland State Campus on Feb. 25 (Saturday) from 9-3 can be found at http://financialsteward.org/  Early bird registration ends Feb. 10th and the early bird fee is $65.00

Sponsored by Financial Stewardship Resources, www.financialsteward.org this session will be a insightful filled day with established and knowledgeable instructors including Cynthia Cumfer, Linda Golaszewski, Kirk Harvey, Kay Sohl and Arty Trost.

The second is an in-depth course on microfinance and microbusiness development to be held in the spring.

Thursday 4 pm – 6:30 beginning April 5 for 11 week at Portland State University

Since Grameen Bank Founder Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, microfinance and microenterprise have been seen as a way out of poverty for millions of low-income and poor people.  Other models have emerged as well some distinctly woman-focused or having feminist orientations.  Microfinance and micro-business initiatives have spread to the U.S. as well. Come learn about these and other development models in this lively and involving course.  Both credit and non-credit options are available.

Contact Suzanne Feeney via email  or Linda Golaszewski at via email  for more information. To register,  visit www.inpm.pdx.edu for registration information.

Finally, they have inaugurated a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit and Public Management. Please contact Linda Golaszewski if you would like to learn more, or if you have questions about any of the above:

  • Linda Golaszewski
  • Institute for Nonprofit management/Center for Public Service
  • Portland State University
  • email/ 503-725-2955

Reports and Resources

Finanical Regulators Role in Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.: 01 Feb 2012 06:58 PM PST

A new paper from Stella J. Adams, a consultant and member of the Board of Directors of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, is HERE.

Quarter of Oregon Schoolchildren Miss Month of School top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Because school absences are linked to low achievement, this is a serious issue for schoolchildren who lack stable housing.

The Children’s Institute, the Chalkboard Project, Attendance Works, and EcoNorthwest released a study today on chronic absence in Oregon and discovered that state-wide chronic absence rates are surprisingly high, and that children in the earliest grades have some of the highest rates of absence.

Working with data from the Oregon Department of Education, researchers at the economic consulting firm EcoNorthwest found that 23 percent of Oregon students were chronically absent in the 2009-2010 school year. Children who live outside of the most densely populated parts of the state were more likely to be chronically absent.

Children in the upper grades had the highest rates of absence, followed by the earliest grades: 24 percent of Oregon kindergarteners and 18 percent of first-graders were chronically absent.

Chronic absence is defined as missing 10 percent or more of school days — or 18 days in most Oregon districts — and is highly correlated with poor literacy skills and academic performance. Students who chronically miss school during early grades are statistically more likely to have poor academic performance in later grades.

“Chronic absence is one of the most reliable and easily understood indicators of students’ risk of dropout,” said Hedy Chang, who directs Attendance Works, a national organization that commissioned the report and works to reduce chronic absence across the country. Chang went on to say that this report should serve as an urgent call to educators and policy-makers to monitor and address chronic absence.

Oregon’s report is the first statewide analysis of its kind released nationally, breaking down absenteeism by poverty levels, racial and ethnic groups, and geographic areas. Researchers also identified schools that are beating the odds, demonstrating good attendance despite a student population facing several risk factors.

Policy-makers who focus on early childhood education agree that this data illuminates a critical issue. “We can’t close the achievement gap without addressing chronic absence,” said Swati Adarkar, President & CEO of the Children’s Institute, an organization that concentrates on moving early childhood research to policy. “Having good data gets us one step closer to identifying feasible solutions.”

In the last year and a half, administrators at the Multnomah County Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) Service System have already begun working with some school districts to tackle this issue through a public service campaign, new attendance protocols and enhanced data collection.

Educators and policy makers say these efforts are a good start. Sue Hildick, President of the Chalkboard Project added, “This report reiterates that if students are not in school, they are not learning. When Chalkboard first began talking to the public about education issues, absenteeism rose to the top of the list of concerns. Unfortunately, little progress has been made to address the issue statewide. We need to be supporting educators and parents in their strategies to tackle this serious issue.”

You can hear more about the results of the study from John Tapogna, president of EcoNorthwest, on Think Out Loud. Tune in to your local OPB radio station tonight at 9pm.

About Attendance Works
Attendance Works is a national and state initiative that promotes awareness of the important role that school attendance plays in achieving academic success. Its goal is ensure that every district in the country not only tracks chronic absence data beginning in kindergarten or ideally earlier, but also partners with families and community agencies to intervene when attendance is a problem for children or particular schools. www.attendanceworks.org

CFED Report: 28% of Oregonians are Asset Poor top

posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

from Neighborhood Partnerships, January 31, 2012

“Oregon must do more to build financial security of residents: More Than One in Four Oregon Residents Have Almost no Savings or Other Assets to Weather a Financial Crisis”

In Oregon today, 28.2% of households are “asset poor,” meaning they have little or no financial cushion to rely on if unemployment or another emergency leads to a loss of income, according to a report released today by the national nonprofit Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED). Neighborhood Partnerships is the state partner in the CFED release.

The Oregon Scorecard, available at http://scorecard.assetsandopportunity.org/2012/state/or, builds on a family financial resilience framework developed by CFED that looks at ways we as a state can act to support the five steps to financial security – Learn, Earn, Invest, Save, and Protect.

Janet Byrd, Director of Neighborhood Partnerships, said “The Scorecard highlights the need for us to take action. Oregon received 1 B, 3 C’s and a D based on our data, and the Scorecard noted both long term and short term opportunities to make improvements.”

“The Oregon Legislature will re-convene in February for a short, one month session. While the budget will be the big topic of the session, we hope to be able to make improvements on one of the Scorecard recommendations and also make a difference for Oregon homeowners facing foreclosure,” Byrd continued.

Neighborhood Partnerships will be working in parallel with other advocates in an effort to pass bills that will require mediation aimed at stopping preventable foreclosures, protect homeowners from foreclosure during the time they are actively engaged in negotiations to modify their loans, and set and enforce servicer standards and regulations, requiring servicers to adhere to basic minimum standards of good faith and fair dealing.

The Scorecard highlights a dozen policy solutions that can help Oregon increase opportunity and promote financial well-being for all residents over the long term. In the near future, in addition to foreclosure prevention, Oregon should extend the sunset on the state Earned Income Tax Credit and increase its value to 18% of the federal credit. Finally, to build financial capability, Oregon should increase access to financial education throughout the curriculum.

“We cannot let the challenges facing our economy prevent us from investing in policies with a proven record of helping struggling families succeed,” said Janet Byrd, Executive Director of Neighborhood Partnerships, a Lead State Organization for the national Assets & Opportunity Network. “As a state, we must take the necessary steps today to protect vulnerable families from further financial shocks and lay the groundwork for future prosperity.”

The 2012 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard ranked Oregon 27th in the country overall for how Oregonians fare in terms of achieving financial security across 52 measures in five different issue areas. Many of Oregon’s residents have jobs, but they lack adequate savings or other assets to cover expenses for three months if they lose a steady income. Asset poverty, the Scorecard’s signature measure, is a conservative estimate of financial security since it counts all assets, including those—such as a home—that would need to be liquidated to be used for day-to-day needs. A more realistic measure of the resources available to families is “liquid asset poverty,” which excludes assets such as a home or car that are not easily converted to cash. Excluding these assets, the liquid asset poverty rate increases to 37.6% of Oregon residents.

For asset poor families, scraping by day to day is a constant struggle and investing in the future is all but impossible. “Growing numbers of Americans have almost no savings or other assets to fall back on if they lose their jobs or face a medical crisis,” said Andrea Levere, president of CFED. “Without those savings, few will be able to invest in a more economically secure future, including buying a home, saving for their children’s college educations or building a retirement nest egg.”

The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard offers the most comprehensive look available at Americans’ ability to save and build wealth, fend off poverty and create a more prosperous future. The Scorecard explores how well residents are faring in the 50 states and the District of Columbia and assesses policies that are helping residents build and protect assets across five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care and Education.

Oregon earns a “B” in Businesses & Jobs. However, it has among the worst unemployment and underemployment rates in the country (ranking 45th and 48th, respectively). The state ranks 44th in overall homeownership rate and 46th in homeownership by income. Housing in Oregon is out of reach for many residents, with the state ranking 46th in affordability of homes and 45th in both housing cost burden of homeowners and renters. Foreclosures continue to impact Oregon communities, with the state ranking 34th in foreclosure rates.

New Report: Equitable Foreclosure Recovery top

posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Includes Portland, Seattle, and Minneapolis Metros
from Oregon Housing Blog, 06 Feb 2012

Report from Northwest Area Foundation and PolicyLink is HERE and includes analysis of foreclosures in Minneapolis, Seattle, and Portland. (Portland detail starts on PDF page 16)

One excerpt, with related table pasted below:

the Portland region, where poverty is generally less concentrated, exhibits the most equitable distribution of foreclosures: the share of people of color is only slightly higher in the highest foreclosure Zip codes than the share of people of color city-, county-, and region wide. Median incomes also are not extremely different. Foreclosures in Seattle and the Twin Cities are much more concentrated in lower-


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Rental Housing as a Neighborhood Stabilization Strategy top

posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

New resources on Foreclosure-Response.org provide information on using foreclosed properties and properties acquired through short sales for rental housing. These include a case study of a scattered-site rental program in Phoenix and a review of NSP3 plans to use foreclosed properties to meet local rental demand. A National Housing Conference handout on the successes of neighborhood stabilization programs with examples from around the country is also being added to Foreclosure-Response.org.

  • The Neighborhood Stabilization Success Story: A handout from the National Housing Conference with examples from around the country of how NSP dollars are helping to sustain and revitalize some of America’s hardest-hit communities.

Foreclosure-Response.org, an online portal for data and information on foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization, is brought to you by the Center for Housing Policy, LISC, and the Urban Institute. 

One Fun Thing

Habitrail For Humanity Under Fire top

posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012
[Ed. note: An old favorite … ]
The Onion, June 15, 2005 | ISSUE 41•24

PAYNEVILLE, KY—Habitrail For Humanity, the faith-based, non-profit group that builds networks of affordable, transparent-tube housing for needy families, has come under intense criticism for its recent projects in the Payneville area.

A new Habitrail For Humanity structure nears completion in Payneville.>

“This is no way for people to live,” said Kentucky Family Outreach coordinator Martin Weiss, speaking Monday in front of a half-constructed, five-story Habitrail outside Payneville. “While it’s true that poor Americans need a viable alternative to housing projects, placing them in large, confusing warrens of see-through cylinders is not the solution.”

Habitrail For Humanity spokesman Nick Bulwer, whose organization has snapped together more than half a million linear feet of low-cost housing since its inception in 1976, said he was “baffled” by the criticism.

Click here to read more.