Do You Need Help Finding Affordable Housing?
Useful links and forms
· NWPP Housing lists:
· Companion/Service Animals (http://www.fhco.org/serviceanimals.htm)
Types of Subsidized and Affordable Housing
There are several different types of subsidized and affordable housing options in Multnomah County. There is drastic shortage of affordable housing in Multnomah County, especially for those on very limited incomes. To make finding subsidized and affordable housing as simple as possible we try to provide information on housing that is currently available or where the properties are accepting applications for their wait lists.
- Project-Based Section 8 housing
- HUD Project-Based Section 8 housing
- Section 8 Voucher
- Open/Fair Market Housing
1. What is Subsidized and Project-Based Section 8 housing?
When we talk about subsidized or Project-Based Section 8 housing, we are referring to housing where the resident pays approximately 30% of their income for the rent. The remaining portion of the rent is covered by a subsidy. This type of housing is especially important to those on very limited incomes. Unfortunately, all of this housing has waitlists that vary from approximately 6 to 36+ months depending on the property, and some have closed waiting lists and will only re-open their lists when the lists become shorter.
Are you seeking Project Based Section 8 Housing in Multnomah County?
The criteria for these buildings only require that your income is less than $15,420/yr. and some have age requirements. There is no disability requirement. Unfortunately due to such high demand for this type of housing the wait lists are in some cases are well over 2+ years.
2. What is HUD Project-Based Section 8 Housing?
If you are over the age of 62 or are disabled you do not have to have a Social Security determination of disability to qualify as disabled for housing. You need verification of disability from a qualified medical profession. Click here for a sample Verification of Disability form. Finally, you must have income under $24,500 for a single individual. If you meet these guidelines you will qualify to apply for HUD subsidized housing. Because each property maintains its own wait list the wait lists vary from property to property. However, at this time the wait lists generally vary from approximately 6 - 24 months.
How do you apply for HUD housing?
It's actually very simple. If you're interested in applying all you need to do is contact the building and request an application. Please be aware some properties, as indicated , are for people age 62+ only. Once you have returned the completed application your name will be place on the wait list. You may apply to as many buildings as you like if you meet the criteria. HUD subsidized housing does not have any applciation fees. Make sure and keep a list of properties that you've applied at and check to see how often you need to check in with the property to remain on their wait list.
3. What about the Section 8 voucher program?
Section 8 is a program administered through Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authority of Portland) that assists people with paying their rent. At this time the program is closed and no names are being taken for a wait list. The wait list is not anticipated to open for several years at this time. Unfortunately, unless you already have a Section 8 Voucher this is not a viable housing resource at this time.
Are you seeking affordable housing or do you currently have a Section 8 Voucher?
There is much discussion about affordable housing, but what does it mean for housing to be affordable? In the most general terms we define housing as affordable when an individual is paying no more than 30% of their income for rent.
There are many properties in Multnomah County that were developed using tax credits and other public revenue sources in order to remain affordable to those on lower incomes. For these properties rent is based on the area Median Family Income (MFI). In Multnomah County the MFI for 2015 is $51,730 for a single individual. This is where it can get a little tricky. Depending on the property there may be some units of housing that are dedicated to those earning no more than 80%, 60%, 50%, 40% or 30% of the MFI.
Let’s make this easier though. If a property was developed as being affordable and all the units are to be rented to those making 50% of the MFI or less. This means that you cannot earn more than $25,750/yr. to live at this particular property. Your rent would be calculated at approximately 30% of this amount. So, your rent would be approximately $793/month. It is not based on your income, but rather the area median incomes. As the median incomes of the area go up or down, your rent would also go up or down accordingly.
Do you currently have a Section 8 voucher?
If you currently have a Section 8 voucher our list may be useful in assisting you with locating housing. All of these properties accept Section 8 Vouchers and also meet Home Forward’s payment standards.
** Effective July 2014, Oregon Landlord/Tenant Law states that a landlord can no longer deny a Section 8 applicant the right to apply for a rental property. The Landlord must allow a Section 8 Voucher Holder the right to apply as a tenant. This however, does not mean that the property will be affordable to the Section 8 Voucher holder as it may not meet Home Forward’s payment standards.
4. Open/Fair Market Housing
Are you seeking information on SROs (single room occupancy apartments and hotels)?
SRO’s are just what the name implies. This is housing for a single individual. Many times there are shared bathroom and cooking facilities. Many of these properties are affordable, but the living spaces are generally quite small. However, they often have more immediate availability.
How do you qualify for affordable housing?
In order to qualify for affordable housing you may need to meet the particular income guidelines of that property. Otherwise, qualifying is as simple as meeting the basic income and screening guidelines.
How do you apply for affordable housing?
Contact the buildings directly and ask for leasing information. These properties will have an application fee and some have wait lists. Our listing of Open Market Apartments has many apartment communities that are both affordable and accept Section 8 vouchers. This is a good starting place for someone seeking more immediate, affordable housing.
You can also search for affordable housing at housingconnections.org
DO YOU HAVE BARRIERS TO HOUSING?
We are frequently asked if we work with people with barriers to housing. The answer is, YES! We work with many people who have significant barriers to housing. Common barriers include previous evictions, poor credit, criminal history, and lack of rental history. We do not manage or own any housing, but our goal is to help people find permanent, affordable housing and we can often help people make this happen even with housing barriers. The seriousness of the barrier can limit housing options, but we can assist clients with formulating a solid housing plan and overcoming barriers through advocacy and working together. If you have been denied housing due to some kind of barrier we encourage you to give us a call or click here to complete our electronic contact form.