Oregon receives $3 million to hire people to help welfare recipients maximize aid



(The Center Square) – Oregon’s Democratic U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden recently announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide communities across the state a combined $3,035,546 from the Family Self Sufficiency Program fund.

Communities will use the money to help families struggling with housing affordability, so they can maximize their housing assistance and get training and services to become economically self-sufficient.

“Access to safe and affordable housing is vital to growing strong and vibrant communities, but I have heard from many Oregonians about the need for more housing resources and the crushing weight of our affordable housing crisis,” Merkley said. “This funding will provide critical support for communities and individuals across the state struggling to find affordable housing, and I will continue fighting to ensure Oregonians have the housing resources they need to live safe and healthy lives.”

Wyden expressed a similar sentiment.

“Many challenges that Oregon families face on a day-to-day basis, like access to consistent childcare and work, can’t be addressed until they find reliable housing,” Wyden said. “In my town halls across all of Oregon, I hear from folks calling for more affordable housing. I am excited for this award and I will continue to help drive new housing opportunities for those in need.”

The Family Self-Sufficiency program offers grants to Public Housing Authorities to help pay the salaries of FSS program coordinators. “These coordinators play a crucial role in helping participating families maximize their housing assistance by connecting them with training and services aimed at enhancing economic self-sufficiency,” the release said. “Grants incentivize the development of community-level plans that align public and private resources, with the ultimate goal of empowering participating families to achieve economic independence and reducing dependence on welfare assistance and rental subsidies.”

The following entities received this funding, according to the release:

Mid-Columbia Housing Authority based in The Dalles: $70,353Marion County Housing Authority based in Salem: $84,350Housing Authority and Urban Renewal Agency of Polk County based in Dallas: $88,567Housing Authority of Washington County based in Hillsboro: $168,000Northeast Oregon Housing Authority based in La Grande: $175,346Central Oregon Regional Housing Authority based in Redmond: $180,748Housing Authority of Jackson County based in Medford: $184,305Linn-Benton Housing Authority based in Albany: $235,116Homes for Good Housing Agency based in Eugene: $239,522Housing Authority of Yamhill County based in McMinnville: $370,039Housing Authority of the City of Salem: $389,697Home Forward based in Portland: $849,503

The program has existed since 1990 when Republican Jack Kemp was Housing Secretary as an early effort at Welfare reform. Over 70,000 households currently participate in it, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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