Reports + Articles


Sequestration Impacts Low Income Renters Hard

As a result of sequestration HUD estimates 140,000 fewer low-income families may receive housing vouchers and many current voucher holders will pay higher rents. A new paper by Doug Rice, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), focuses on the impacts sequestration has on low income families, seniors and people with disabilities.

According to Rice half of the households in the voucher program are seniors or people with disabilities living on fixed incomes, the rest are families with children. These households typically have incomes well below the poverty line and cannot afford housing without assistance.

The across the board budget cuts come at a time when the number of low-income households in need of housing assistance has been rising substantially. HUD’s 2011 Worst Case Housing Report due out next month shows the number of renters with incomes below 50 percent of the median income paying more than half of their income for housing or who live in severely substandard housing, has risen by 43 percent since 2007, to 8.5 million households.

Currently 1 in 4 eligible households receives a voucher or some other form of federal rental assistance and the average household income for these households is just $12,500 - just 19% of area median incomes and well below the poverty line of about $18,000 for a family of three.

The cuts under sequestration will contribute to further losses of public housing and make fewer vouchers available as public housing agencies take vouchers out of circulation in response to funding cuts.

Read Doug Rice’s paper here on the CBPP website.

Locally, Home Forward, the public housing agency whose jurisdiction includes Portland and Multnomah County, estimates available vouchers for the rest of the year may be reduced by as many as 600 as returned vouchers are put on the shelf. In an effort to respond to reduced federal funding both voucher holders and residents in public housing will experience an increase in their rent. Learn more about Home Forward’s response to sequestration on their website here.

— Posted on 4/10/2013

NOAH Supports HB 3007 which provides residents of Manufactured home communities the opportunity to make an offer to purchase

HB 3007 requires owners of residential facilities to offer tenants, alone or in cooperation with a nonprofit organization or housing authority, the opportunity to purchase before the facility can be offered for sale to a third party.  The bill is sponsored by Rep. Nathanson, and is supported by the Manufactured Housing/Oregon State Tenants Association, as well as the Oregon Housing Alliance.  The Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH) strongly supports HB 3007.

Manufactured homes have traditionally provided some of Oregon’s most affordable homeownership opportunities and are a critical source of affordable housing for homeowners with lower incomes.  There are an estimated 64,325 people currently living in 1,158 manufactured home parks in Oregon. 54% of the residents are 55 years of age or older and 66% have a household income of less than $30,000 per year.  14% have household incomes under $14,000 per year.
Over 80% of the manufactured homes in Oregon on rented land are owner-occupied. These homeowners lease space in a manufactured home community but do not own the land on which their homes sit.  With very limited protections under the law, thousands of these homeowners face displacement should park owners decide to close the community and covert the land to some other use.
HB 3007 will provide residents an opportunity to offer to purchase the park where their homes are located and will help preserve this critical source of affordable housing.  Encouraging resident ownership of manufactured home parks improves the neighborhood and brings greater stability and security for the community.
For more than 20 years NOAH has provided financing for new and existing affordable multifamily rental housing here in Oregon.  We are committed to protecting and preserving Oregon’s existing affordable housing and since 2009, we have provided financing for Manufactured Home Park acquisitions by the community’s residents. 

— Posted on 4/09/2013

The Housing Alliance and Oregon Housing Preservation Project request $20 Million in Lottery Backed Bonds for Preservation

Since 2007 Lottery Backed Bond and General Fund dollars have filled project financing gaps and contributed to the preservation of many critically important properties throughout Oregon. There are still many projects with federal rental assistance contracts at-risk. We must continue to take action to ensure their preservation if we hope to keep Oregon’s communities affordable for Oregonians with low incomes.

$20 million in Lottery Backed Bonds committed by the State in 2013 will provide the gap financing resources OHCS needs to successfully preserve up to 1,000 additional units of at-risk rental housing with attached federal rental assistance. $20 million in Lottery Backed Bonds dedicated to preservation will leverage an estimated $110 million in additional capital and will secure nearly $120 million in additional federal rental assistance over the next 20 years. 

This sound investment will help ensure that vulnerable Oregonians continue to have a safe and stable place to call home, and will result in a significant return to the State.

Read the Housing Alliance Preservation Agenda here.

— Posted on 4/09/2013