Housing Blog

Washington County Housing Update - May 23, 2019

On May 10, 2019, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a proposed rule that would add more restrictions for eligibility for certain federal housing programs based on immigration status.  The Housing Authority of Washington County, along with other housing authorities in the region and the state, are monitoring these developments.  Legislators in the House are trying to stop the rule through different means, and groups like the Council for Large Public Housing Authorities and the National Low-Income Housing Coalition are speaking out against the proposed rule. If passed, the proposed HUD rule says that all tenants living in a unit must have eligible immigration status. Currently, families can live together in a HUD subsided unit even if one family member is ineligible provided the housing subsidy is decreased to exclude the ineligible person from the assistance. We will continue to monitor this and provide updates.  Another good source of information on this subject can be found here at https://oregonlawhelp.org/resource/hud-rule-on-mixed-status-familes-in-housing#i06D64CE1-BD4F-49ED-9D18-91542962431E.

 

Washington County Metro Bond Update

The second draft of Washington County's LIS is available for review. Click here to view.

 

Washington County Metro Bond Update - May 16, 2019

The staff at Washington County continues to work with developers in regards to the unit production goals for the metro affordable bond.  While a major focus right now is the Local Implementation Strategy, it is also important to ensure a pipeline of affordable housing projects are ready to go.  Although the work is preliminary, there are already initial talks with five developers who have control of sites and that are interested in developing affordable housing. Washington County also foresees issuing RFPs and NOFAs for developments in the upcoming months and years. If you are a developer or interested in working with Washington County on a project, please contact us at AffordableHousingBond@co.washington.or.us.

Moving to Work

The housing authority recently went to its board of directors to seek permission to apply for the Moving to Work (MTW) program.  The MTW program is a HUD demonstration that would allow the housing authority to be more flexible with the way it implements its federal affordable housing programs. The MTW program could also help the agency with affordable housing development. A designation of MTW would allow the housing authority to be more flexible with project based vouchers and gap financing. The first step is to submit an application of interest to HUD. That step was recently taken.  We will update the public as we go through the summer months and learn more.

 

Washington County Metro Bond Update - May 9, 2019

The staff at the Housing Authority of Washington County, with the help of community feedback and partnering agencies, recently completed the first draft of the Local Implementation Strategy (LIS).  This is an important marker as the document will serve as the guiding force for affordable housing development that will take place over the next 5-7 years.   As a reminder, Washington County was allocated $188 million dollars for housing production.  This will increase the number of affordable housing units in our county by around 1,300 units.  Washington County, the City of Beaverton and the City of Hillsboro will take on this work within Washington County.   

Once the LIS is approved at the end of the summer by our Board of County Commissioners, the plan will go to Metro for approval.  The County will work with developers in our community to start getting units on the ground as soon as possible!  These units will be spread out over all of Washington County.  The Housing Authority and Washington County will be clarifying in upcoming weeks and months how developers can engage with us and propose affordable housing developments.

Other Highlights of LIS

Washington County is committed to leading with racial equity and community engagement throughout this process.  In addition, there is a large commitment to adding units for families (407 units), and extremely low income households (334 units).   There will also be a focus in workforce participation by minorities, women, and disabled veterans.   The guiding principles of the LIS are as follows:

  1. Housing Development plan including criteria and selection process for projects
  2. Strategy for advancing racial equity throughout implementation
  3. Engagement reports summarizing how stakeholder input shaped development of the strategy
  4. Plan for ongoing community engagement

Engage With Us!

We want to hear from you!  There are several ways you can provide feedback.  You can email us at AffordableHousingBond@co.washington.or.us.  We are also coming to a community near you.  Catch us at the following locations at the following times:

  • May 13 City of Forest Grove, City Council, 7:00 p.m. meeting time
  • May 14 City of Tigard, City Council , 7:30 p.m. meeting time
  • May 15 King City Council, 7:00 p.m. meeting time
  • May 28 City of Tualatin, City Council at Work session, 5:00 p.m. meeting time
  • May 28 City of Durham, City Council, 7:30 p.m. meeting time
  • June 25 Approval of Final LIS (Draft 3), Washington County Board of County Commissioners Meeting, 6:30 p.m. meeting time