Housing Assistance for Low-Income in Oregon

he State of Oregon administers several housing assistance programs to help the low-income, the disabled, and those with special needs. The local authorities managing some of these programs use waiting lists to assist the qualified individuals. While the requirements for each of these programs may vary, most of them aim to prevent and bring an end to homelessness and provide affordable housing options to those eligible for support. Please keep reading this article to learn more about the housing and supportive services available across Oregon State.

Emergency Shelter Grants Program

The Emergency Shelter Grants Program works to support homeless individuals and families to achieve stability in their communities. The program also covers victims of domestic violence, veterans and their families, the youth, and people with mental illness. Are you at risk of becoming homeless? Don’t worry. The Emergency Shelter Grants Program got you covered. Applicants eligible for the program include urban counties, territories, states, and metropolitan status. The program funds distributed are used to finance housing projects operated by non-profits and local government authorities. Which activities are run within the program? The funds for the program can be used for rehabilitation and renovation of abandoned or foreclosed buildings, which can in turn be put towards emergency shelter to homeless individuals and families in the service areas. The program also covers the implementation of homelessness activities, including the first month’s rent, eviction, and foreclosure. The funds can also be used for security deposits, settling disputes between landlords and tenants, and offering legal services for tenants in need. What makes you eligible for this assistance as an individual? If the inability to pay for your rent is caused by the sudden loss of income/job and the support will help you prevent eviction or foreclosure, you qualify for assistance. For more details about the program requirements, please visit https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/emergency-shelter-grants/emergency-shelter-grants-program-requirements/.

Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities Program

The program works to provide housing and support to persons living with disabilities to ensure they live an independent life in the community. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds this program through non-profit organizations, which deliver the services to qualified applicants. The organizations use the funds to renovate or rehabilitate supportive housing to provide shelter to the disabled. Who qualifies for this program? Are you 18 years or older and undergoing mental, emotional, or physical disability? Is your income 50% or less of the area median income? then you are eligible to receive the program funds. Find out more at https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/housing-assistance/Pages/find-affordable-housing.aspx#17007230-051b-483d-b78f-de8030656c4a.

Income-Restricted Subsidized Housing

Applicants seeking for income-restricted subsidized housing program must meet the income eligibility requirements in their area for them to qualify for apartments sold at cheaper prices. Qualification for this assistance depends on the programs run locally, federally, or within the state. The amount of support also varies across locations. Finding the income-restricted apartments or housing units can be challenging because they are not mentioned in one particular group. Some of these apartments are located to those which are not restricted and others can be found in mixed-income housing with rate units. Some of the housing units are also attractive just like the rest of the apartments, and identifying them can be tricky. Want to find low-income apartments? Have you tried searching using terms like, “affordable,” “income-restricted,” or “subsidized?” Use these terms to search subsidized apartments located in your area of residence. Find out more at https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/housing-assistance/Pages/find-affordable-housing.aspx#ff2ca64a-6f83-4ee4-b83e-d522b825b0d8.

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program provides rental subsidies to low-income individuals and families. The vouchers are meant to make housing affordable to everyone and to reduce the causes of homelessness in Oregon. The seniors and the disabled are also covered within this program. HUD administers this program. The program is however run by the local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs). Want to apply? Reach out to your local PHA office at https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/PIH/documents/PHA_Contact_Report_OR.pdf. The local PHAs manage waiting lists, where applicants are placed, once your eligibility has been verified. Remember, you can’t be eligible for this assistance if you have been convicted because of drug abuse or sexual offense. Because there is a high demand for rental assistance in Oregon, it can always take years before you get to the top of the waiting list. During application, the program requires that you provide information on your household income, social security, total household assets, household composition, bank statements, and tax returns. The PHAs may also want to know if you are making any payments regarding your health, including insurance, prescriptions, and any future medical expenses.  What affordable housing options do you have? Well, depending on your area of residence, you may qualify for single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments.  You are also allowed to puck a housing unit, as long as it meets the quality standards set by HUD. Please visit https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/housing-assistance/Pages/find-affordable-housing.aspx#54c3e655-4ea4-4cfe-a801-14a2dbb0564e.

Emergency Housing Assistance Program

The purpose of the Emergency Housing Assistance Program is to reach out and help the low-income homeless individuals and families and those with unstable housing and are at risk of experiencing homelessness. The EHA financing can be put towards emergency and transitional shelter, rapid rehousing, and supportive services. The program funds can also be put to street outreach to identify and support the families facing homelessness and for rehabilitation or renovation of buildings for shelter to individuals in need of support.

Elderly Rental Assistance Program (ERA)

The ERA program provides homelessness prevention, stabilization, and case management services to low-income seniors at risk of becoming homeless or who are living in unstable conditions. Other services include supportive in-house, data collection, community outreach, and transitional housing services. Read more at the program factsheet available at https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/for-providers/Documents/factsheets/FACTSHEET-ERA.pdf.

Housing Stabilization Program (HSP)

The Housing Stabilization Program works to assist the low-income individuals and families who participate in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and are facing homelessness threats or living in unstable housing conditions in Oregon. Financing for this program can pay for household expenses and to provide case management and data collection services. The program aims to support qualified applicants in achieving stability and self-sufficiency and also to help eliminate homelessness in Oregon. See the program factsheet here.

The State Housing Assistance Program (SHAP)

The program meets the emergency housing needs of the residents of Oregon by offering support services to qualified applicants. Financing for this program can be used for for rehabilitation and renovation of buildings for shelters and to provide maintenance to emergency or transitional shelter facilities. They can also be sued for street outreach and collection of information regarding homelessness, including the number of homeless residents of Oregon. View more in the program factsheet.

USDA’s Single-Family Housing Direct Home Loans in Oregon

Want to achieve your dream of homeownership? USDA supports low-income families through financial assistance in form of low-interest loans. This program aims to help qualified applicants achieve stability and self-sufficiency by providing decent and safe housing in the USDA-eligible rural communities. The payment assistance is also meant to enhance applicants’ repayment ability and reduce mortgage costs for some time. The amount of payment assistance the program offers depends on the level of income and the size of the family. Who qualifies for this program? To be eligible for the program assistance, your income must be at or below the low-income limit in your area. You must be without quality and safe housing and unable to obtain loans from any other credit facility. Visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-direct-home-loans/or for more details.

USDA’s Single-Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants in Oregon

The purpose of this program is to provide financial support in form of loans to eligible low-income homeowners and grants to senior homeowners. The loans are used for renovation and modernizing homes while the grants, which are given to the elderly homeowners, are designed for removing health and safety hazards from their homes. Who qualifies for the program? You must provide proof that you own and occupy the home, be unable to obtain loans elsewhere, have an income of or below 50% of the area median income, and be 62 years or older for grants and demonstrate an inability to make repayment. Check your home address for eligibility at http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do?pageAction=sfpd. How much assistance does the program provide to the eligible homeowners? The amount of financial assistance depends on the family income. The maximum loan and grant the program provides are $20,000 and $7,000 respectively. In some cases, loans and grants can be combined for up to $27,000 program financial assistance.

Oregon Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The Oregon LIHEAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program is committed to supporting low-income households with their home energy bills, including heating and cooling costs. You must meet the low-income limits in your area, be a resident of Oregon, and demonstrate the need for financial support to qualifying for this assistance. Do you participate or receive benefits from TANF, SSI, or SNAP? Then you automatically meet the program eligibility requirements. Want to apply for Oregon LIHEAP? Please visit http://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/Pages/energy-assistance-agency-service-counties-regions.aspx and reach out to your local administering agency. For more about Oregon LIHEAP, please visit http://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/Pages/low-income-energy-assistance-oregon.aspx.

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