Tag Archives: Affordable Housing

Fair Housing Choice Committee Needs Members

From the Portland Housing Bureau:

Analysis of Impediments (AI) to Fair Housing Choice

The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) is looking for people interested in participating on the committee to conduct the Analysis of Impediments (AI) to Fair Housing Choice.

On behalf of the consortium of the City of Portland, the City of Gresham and Multnomah County, PHB is required to submit to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) certification that it is affirmatively furthering fair housing. This certification has three elements and requires that the County:

  1. Complete an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI);
  2. Take actions to overcome the effects of any impediments identified through the analysis; and
  3. Maintain records reflecting the actions taken in response to the analysis.

Background

HUD defines impediments to fair housing choice in terms of their applicability to local, state and federal law. In Multnomah County, barriers would include:

• Any actions, omissions or decisions taken because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, mental or physical disability, source of income, marital status, sexual orientation, and gender identity (protected classes) which restrict housing choices or the availability of housing choice.

• Any actions, omissions or decisions that have the effect of limiting housing choices or the availability of housing choice on the protected classes listed above.

The AI process involves examining various data and interviews with a variety of key stakeholders variety of sources related to housing, which affect people protected under fair housing law.

PHB has contracted with Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO) to conduct fair housing testing within Multnomah County. A full report on the Multnomah County testing is expected in February 2011. Back in April, the FHCO released a report on fair housing testing FHCO conducted in Ashland and Beaverton to see whether renters face housing discrimination. The FHCO sent African-American and white testers with the same credentials to look at apartments advertised in newspapers and online. The testing showed that more than 75% of Black testers in Ashland and Beaverton faced discrimination.

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Housing Bureau Seeks Members for Housing Advisory Committee

via the Portland Housing Bureau:

Interested in weighing in on investments of public resources in housing? Want to serve as a sounding board on significant housing policy issues? Want to be in a position to officially advise City Council and City staff on matters relating to housing issues?

The Portland Housing Bureau invites you to apply for membership on its new Portland Housing Advisory Committee (PHAC). The Portland Housing Advisory Committee (PHAC) is a new volunteer public advisory body that will advise the Director of the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB), the Housing Commissioner, and the Portland City Council on a range of housing policy and program issues.

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PCRI: Working for a Good Cause but Neighbors Question How Successfully

If you live in Northeast Portland, chances are that Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives is one of your neighbors. As one of the largest community development corporations in North and Northeast Portland with 700 rental houses and apartments, PCRI helps define what our neighborhood is like.

The non-profit organization was born from the housing discrimination scandals of the ‘60’s through the ‘80’s such as redlining and the abandonment of the area by traditional lenders culminating in the Dominion Capital case where aspiring homeowners were being bilked with excessive interest rates and contracts designed to prevent the accumulation equity. PCRI executive director, Maxine Fitzpatrick sat down with me to discuss PCRI’s mission, operations, and recent incidents at one of their complexes. Ms. Fitzpatrick explained how PCRI set out to keep housing in the long-term, mostly minority residents’ hands and slow the wave of displacement taking place due to gentrification:

“The Oregonian did the exposé that exposed Dominion Capital and their fraudulent practices. After that exposé they filed for bankruptcy so rather than let those 350 families that were living in those properties be displaced and the properties picked up by speculators, they formed PCRI to purchase the homes. At the time about 70 of those properties still had an active land sale contract so our goal was to work with those families to make them legitimate owners and keep the other 272 as affordable rentals because that’s what they were at the time. So that’s how we were formed—to purchase that portfolio.”

King neighborhood, once overwhelmingly African-American and mostly poor by the late ‘80’s, is now much more diverse ethnically, economically, and culturally. With diversity, often comes strain and misunderstanding. While residents generally value the improvements in the housing that has come with the influx of new, younger, residents fixing up older homes, community development corporations strive to provide the most housing for the very limited available dollars. Standards for housing construction, maintenance and upkeep, as well as resident screening and oversight are set by the CDC which has a primary mission to provide housing for the surplus of those who cannot afford market rate options. As a result, homeowners and subsidized housing residents’ dreams of living in safe and peaceful neighborhoods sometime intersect with the jarring realities of life.

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Portland Housing Bureau Budget Priorities Survey

The Portland Housing Bureau is preparing its budget, and wants to know what YOU think its priorities should be for the next fiscal year. Please take 5 minutes to complete their survey. And please feel free to email the link to other interested parties. http://www.fmrsurvey.com/DHM/BHC2/BHC2logn.htm

http://www.portlandonline.com/oni/?c=29385&a=282473