Reports + Articles


Update: Legislature Subcommittee Approves Preservation Funds

On May 25, the state legislature’s Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development of the Joint Ways and Means Committee approved the budget for Oregon Housing and Community Services for the 2011-2013 biennium, including the $10.5 million in spending authority specifically for preservation projects. Advocates still await movement on the bill, HB 5005, that will provide the lottery-backed bonds to generate the funds.

— Posted on 5/31/2011

HUD Adds FY11 Section 202 Funds to Current NOFA; Application Deadline Extended

Following the recent passage of the FY11 appropriations bill (see 4/18/2011 post), HUD announced that the FY11 Section 202 Housing for the Elderly capital advance funds will be available through the existing Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Combining FY10 and FY11 funds bring the total now available to approximately $449 million. Of that, HUD will allocate just over $17 million for metropolitan and non-metropolitan projects in Region X, which services Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska. HUD also extended the NOFA application deadline to June 21. Click here for further information.

Nonprofit developers can use Section 202 capital advance funds for the construction, rehabilitation, or acquisition of housing for seniors, generally 62 and older, with very low income. In the past two years, HUD made a number of regulatory changes promoting refinance and preservation of Section 202 properties, such as allowing Section 202 loans to be subordinated when required to complete the preservation transaction. In addition to the capital advance funds, Congress also annually appropriates funds for Project Rental Assistance Contracts (PRACs) for Section 202 properties, allowing residents to pay 30% of their incomes for rent. HUD initially awards PRACs for three years and subsequently renews based on funding availability. Small pots of money also exist to provide Section 202 owners with predevelopment grants, service coordinators, emergency capital repair grants, and funds for converting units to assisted living.

— Posted on 5/26/2011

Update on Housing Alliance Agenda; New Preservation Funds Still Progressing

The Housing Alliance issued an update on its 2011 Housing Opportunity Agenda, which includes dedicated funds for preservation projects. As budget negotiations begin in earnest, the $10 million preservation set-aside in the Governor’s budget continues to move forward and would be funded by Lottery Backed Bonds through House Bill 5005. The state’s May 12 revenue forecast predicting an additional $128 million for the biennium could help secure housing-related funds. While some additional items failed to pass out of their respective committees, many Housing Alliance agenda priorities, such as the extension of the Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit and revisions to the Farmworker Housing Tax Credit, continue to progress through the legislative process. Click here for the 2011 Housing Opportunity Agenda and here for the latest Housing Alliance update.

— Posted on 5/18/2011

HUD Issues Update on FY11 Multifamily Preservation Regulatory Efforts

Marking the halfway point of FY11, HUD Deputy Assistance Secretary for Multifamily Housing Programs Carl Galante issued a statement highlighting her office’s recent regulatory efforts to help facilitate preservation of the nation’s existing affordable rental housing stock. The two-page memo mentions specific changes, such as those allowing for the subordination of Section 202 loans and the combination of efficiency units to reduce vacancies, and offers a link to the corresponding policy documentation. Click here for HUD’s preservation update.

— Posted on 5/16/2011

City Housing Commissioner and Housing Bureau Director Pen Op-Ed on Housing Affordability, Cite Recent National Report

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish and Portland Housing Bureau Director Margaret Van Vliet co-authored an op-ed piece in Sunday’s Oregonian that estimates some 15,000 households in Portland can’t afford to rent or buy an appropriately sized home for their family. Continued high unemployment and increased demand are only expected to exaggerate the problem in the coming years. The piece then points to the importance of the City’s work to preserve existing affordable housing, which is part of its efforts as a partner in the Oregon Housing Preservation Project. Click here to read the op-ed.

The authors refer to a released recently report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, America’s Rental Housing: Meeting Challenges, Building on Opportunities, detailing the myriad factors that continue to deteriorate affordability across the country and cause increasing numbers of families to spend too much of their income on adequate housing. Though the report doesn’t include state-level statistics, one chart shows the percentage of renter households with severe housing burdens (spending 50% or more of income on housing) in major metropolitan areas. From 2000 to 2009, the share of severely burdened households in Portland increased from 18.8% to 25.5%. Click here to read the Joint Center’s full report.

— Posted on 5/09/2011

2011 CFC Applicant Info Released, Includes 11 Preservation Projects

OHCs recently released the list of applicants for housing funds through the 2011 Consolidated Funding Cycle (CFC). Sponsors around the state submitted more than 40 applications to fund 1,307 units of affordable housing. Of that total, 11 submissions were for preservation projects, representing 482 units in 16 current properties (three applications were for small portfolios of bundled preservation properties). Those 11 applications combined to request approximately $18.4 million of the $28.4 million total funds available through this CFC. OHCS currently sets aside 50% of funds in all programs accessed through the CFC for preservation (100% for Housing Preservation Funds). Funding awards are expected to be announced in the summer. Click here for the complete list of CFC applicants.

— Posted on 5/05/2011

Report Highlights Progress of Oregon Housing Preservation Project

Preserving Oregon’s Affordable Rental Housing: Progress Report, March 2011 describes both the basis for and accomplishments of the Oregon Housing Preservation Project (OHPP), established in 2007 to preserve multifamily rental properties at-risk of losing their federal subsidies and rental assistance. The report features a two-page map that plots the location, and demonstrates the geographic diversity, of preservation projects throughout Oregon. As of March 2011, OHPP efforts resulted in the preservation of 61 properties, with 2,529 homes. That total puts OHPP partners almost halfway to the ultimate goal of preserving 6,000 homes by 2015. Click here to view or download the full report.

— Posted on 5/05/2011

Housing Affordability Continues to be Out of Reach for Many Oregonians in 2011

On May 3, the Housing Alliance issued a press release highlighting new research that shows rental housing prices in Oregon continuing to rise, despite ongoing high unemployment and the effects of the recession. The report, Out of Reach 2011 from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, includes a “Housing Wage”, which measures the amount per hour a worker must earn in order to afford to rent a home at fair market rent. The Housing Wage for Oregon is $15.81 in relation to a two-bedroom home, nearly double the current minimum wage. That means a single worker employed at a minimum wage job would need to work 74 hours per week in order to afford a modest home with two bedrooms for his/her family. The Housing Wage for Oregon increased 6% from $14.93 in 2010 and is 35% higher than it was in 2000. Click here for the Housing Alliance’s press release, which includes a link to the full report.

— Posted on 5/04/2011