Finding Rental Housing

Improving Your Housing Search

Have a Voucher? This short video provides an overview of the steps to leasing up with a Voucher.

This tip sheet offers suggestions to help make your housing search more successful.

 

Resources for Finding Rentals

 

The Department of Housing Services maintains a list of vacant rental units that landlords choose to list with us.  This list is updated as vacancies are added.  Please note that information on this list may change without notice.

Affordable Housing Owned by the Department of Housing Services
The Department of Housing Services owns many units of affordable housing located throughout Washington County. These units have rents set to be affordable to low-income households earning at or below 60-80% of the Area Median Income, and most rents are typically below-market. The properties have experience working with the Housing Choice Voucher program.

My Apartment Map 
My Apartment Map Affordable Housing Search plots affordable housing on an interactive map, so renters can easily find housing near their desired location.  The map shows nearby grocery stores, restaurants, schools and other amenities.  The website is free to use.

GoSection8.com   
GOsection8.com is a rental listing service designed specifically for renters with Vouchers and landlords who work with the Voucher program.

 

Other Rental Assistance Options

Apartments with HUD Rental Assistance
There are several apartment complexes located throughout Washington County, and other areas, that offer rental assistance from HUD. 

Public Housing Agencies
If you are interested in applying for rental assistance in other areas, click the link above for contact information for other Public Housing Agencies.

 

 

Tips for your Housing Search

Get free copies of your credit reports from the three credit-reporting agencies before you start your search. Know what is on your report ahead of time so you will be able to respond to negative or inaccurate information on your report.

When you call to ask about a rental, make your call from a quiet place where you are unlikely to be interrupted.

Arrive 15 minutes early to any appointment to see a rental. Dress as if you were going to a job interview.

Ask the landlord for a tour of the apartment and common areas of the property. Show you care about the quality of your home by asking questions. If you see things you like, let the landlord know. If the place does not meet your expectations, don't hesitate to look elsewhere.

 

Renters with Barriers

If you have problems finding housing due to issues with your credit, criminal record, or rental history, you may want to try one or more of the following:

If your screening problem is related to a disability, you have the right to ask for a reasonable accommodation during the screening process.

Participate in a tenant education training. Landlords are often more willing to accept tenants who have completed a tenant education course. In Washington County, Community Action offers a free tenant education training called Rent Well. For more information, visit their website.

Ask about the screening process and application fee. If you know you have negative information on your credit report, or negative rental history, look at the screening criteria before you pay any application fee. If you do not think you will pass the background check, ask  if there is something you could do that would help.

Talk to the landlord. If the landlord seems unwilling to negotiate with you, it may mean that your application will not be accepted. However, if the landlord seems encouraging or tells you that other tenants with similar problems have been accepted before, submitting an application might be worth a try.

 

Fair Housing

Fair housing laws say that everyone must be given the same opportunity, and treated the same, in the rental of homes, duplexes, apartments, and other types of housing. Fair housing laws protect against illegal housing discrimination based on "protected class status" in any housing transaction.

Federally Protected Classes: race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status, and disability

State of Oregon Protected Classes: marital status, source of income, sexual orientation/gender identity, honorably discharged veterans/military status, and domestic violence victims

If you feel that you have encountered housing discrimination during your search, you may want to contact one or more of the following resources:

Fair Housing Council of Oregon Hotline - (800) 424-3247 extension 2 or information@FHCO.org

US Department of Housing and Urban Development

State of Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries Civil Rights Complaints

 

 

 

 

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