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February 9, 2012       
hope. access. potential
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A new name for the Housing Authority of Portland

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Message from Home Forward's New Board Chair

Harriet Cormack

In the late 1960s, I was special assistant to the Executive Director of the Boston Housing Authority. Since that early start of my career, I have been involved with projects and organizations to preserve and create affordable housing throughout the Northwest. It is rewarding to apply these decades of experience in a different way as I assume leadership of the Board of Home Forward.

As I enter my ninth year on the board, I am proud to lead an organization that does such an outstanding job serving individuals and families in need of housing in Portland and Multnomah County. Home Forward is recognized nationally as a high performing housing authority - locally we strive every day to provide hope, access, and potential for the people we serve.

The turmoil of the national economy and decision gridlock of the federal government are sending rough waves through the funding Home Forward receives to operate our programs. As we face unparalleled challenges, the board will continue efforts to stretch resources creatively, enabling us to serve as many households in need as possible.

One bright spot on the horizon is the Stephens Creek Crossing redevelopment, a project that will create jobs and double the number of affordable homes at the site of the former Hillsdale Terrace public housing. In addition, preservation investments in our existing communities will improve the quality of life for residents and extend the useful life of buildlings to serve future generations.

I'm confident that with hard work and the support of our many terrific partners, the board and staff of Home Forward will continue to make a significant difference in our community no matter what bad weather may come our way.

Harriet Cormack
Chair, Board of Commissioners

Learn more about Chair Cormack and the 2012 board officers>

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Plans for Stephens Creek Crossing Take Shape 

Big check from HUD grant

Redevelopment in Southwest Portland replaces Hillsdale Terrace public housing

Activity has stepped up on a redevelopment that will transform an isolated, dreary public housing complex into a vibrant community that offers a promise of hope and opportunity to families seeking a path to self-sufficient living. Residents of the former Hillsdale Terrace apartments have moved to new homes in preparation for building demolition in April and the start of construction in August. The redevelopment will double the number of affordable apartments and provide jobs and business opportunities for local residents.

Learn about the redevelopment in a new community update>

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Rent Reform Program to Launch in April

Home Forward has simplified the way it calculates rent for the people it serves in its public housing and Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher programs. The new method, which calculates rent as a percentage of gross income, is less intrusive, more equitable, and easier to understand and administer. Seniors (55 and older) and persons with disabilities pay 27.5 percent of their gross income for rent. Households able to focus on work start at the same point, with rent increasing in two stages to the greater of 31 percent of gross income or $200 a month after five years.

Starting April 1, 60 percent of residents will pay lower rents. Rent will remain the same for 7 percent and increase for 33 percent of residents. Under the program's phase-in and hardship policies, rent increases will be $25 or less per month for nearly 80 percent of those who experience a rent increase. Extensive resident and community outreach helped shape the rent reform program, which is required of housing authorities operating with federal Moving to Work deregulation authority.

Learn more about rent reform at Home Forward >

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