Government Subsidized Affordable Housing

There is a maze of government alphabet-soup programs.  Competition is fierce, money scarce, and there are tight restrictions on qualifying family income levels. All in all we couldn't get it to work for us in over 5 years of trying (2005 - 2010).

HUD - US Department of Housing and Urban Development
The expansion of the supply of affordable housing for low-income families is at the very core of HUD's mission, (though note the word is still "urban" not "rural").  The Office of Community Planning and Development, the Office of Housing, and the Office of Public and Indian Housing all administer programs designed to increase the stock of housing affordable to low-income households.

Oregon Department Housing and Community Services - Much of OHCS funding comes through HUD. They also administer the Earned Income Tax credits program.

The Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
This program has been successfully used in our region (including in Cannon Beach) and if a project can wend its way through the hoops (which are considerable), it can provide funds for local housing. However, most arrangements are for 15 years and there is now a push to provide state funds to buy out these loans. In an era of declining availability of affordable housing, the EITC provides significant relief to households burdened by severe housing costs that consume at least 50 percent of gross income. The state of Washington has good programs that should be checked out & replicated in other states.

Area Resource People for Oregon Programs

Jim Tierney
Community Action Team (CAT) in St. Helens and Northwest Oregon Community Development Collaborative (NOW CDC) are the lead organizers for affordable housing construction in the three county region of the northwest corner of Oregon - Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook Counties. They know how to creatively wend their way through the mazes.

Vince Chiotti
Regional Rep for Oregon Department Housing and Community Services

CASA of Oregon
Specializing in farmer worker and Hispanic housing, they are likely to be starting a project in Clatsop County through the regional group Northwest Oregon Community Development Collaborative. They have expressed interest in working here too if the opportunity arises.