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Merkley, Wyden announce $71 million in housing awards to Oregon

U.S. Capitol
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U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced Monday a total investment of about $71 million across Oregon in federal grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds have been dispersed into five different categories that will tackle various housing issues around the state. 

“I’ve heard from many Oregonians who are struggling under the enormous weight of America’s affordable housing crisis—a crisis that has only been magnified by the pandemic,” said Merkley. “These critical federal housing investments will help countless Oregonians access and sustain affordable and safe housing in every corner of our state. I’ll continue to do all I can to ensure these housing opportunities remain available and accessible to every member of our communities throughout this pandemic and beyond.” 

”Housing is a human right, and these federal resources will help to make that right a reality for Oregonians needing a floor under their feet and a roof over their heads,” said Wyden, author of the Decent, Affordable, Safe Housing for All (DASH) Act. “These housing awards take a good step forward to help provide affordable housing in communities statewide, but there’s more to be done as our state and country deal with the ongoing economic fallout of the public health crisis. And I’ll keep battling to secure those funds for Oregon.”

A breakdown of the funds and categories of the Community Planning Development awards can be found below:  

$34,879,947: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program provides annual grants on a formula basis to states, cities, and counties to develop viable urban and rural communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.  

$19,963,598: HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) 

The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) provides formula grants to states and localities that communities use - often in partnership with local nonprofit groups - to fund a wide range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership or providing direct rental assistance to low-income people. HOME is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households. HOME funds are awarded annually as formula grants to participating jurisdictions (PJs). The program’s flexibility allows states and local governments to use HOME funds for grants, direct loans, loan guarantees or other forms of credit enhancements, or rental assistance or security deposits. 

$10,567,910: Housing Trust Fund (HTF)

HTF provides annual grants to states to produce and preserve affordable housing for extremely low- and very low-income households. States and state-designated entities are eligible grantees for the HTF. A State must use at least 80 percent of each annual grant for rental housing; up to 10 percent for homeownership; and up to 10 percent for the grantee's reasonable administrative and planning costs. HTF funds may be used for the production or preservation of affordable housing through the acquisition, new construction, reconstruction, and/or rehabilitation of non-luxury housing with suitable amenities. All HTF-assisted units will be required to have a minimum affordability period of 30 years. 

$2,548,799: Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA formula) 

The Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program provides stable and permanent housing assistance and supportive services to one of the most vulnerable populations – low-income people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). This population often faces housing instability as well as other life and medical challenges, including mental health and substance abuse issues as well as discrimination and stigma that create barriers to needed services (authorized per the AIDS Housing Opportunity Act (42 U.S.C. 12901-12912)). 

$3,064,034: Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) 

The ESG program provides the first response to people with a housing crisis and engages people living on the streets. ESG awards funds to over 360 urban counties, metropolitan cities, States, and territories, supporting a variety of life-saving activities such as: emergency shelter for people in crisis; street outreach and other essential services to engage people who may be living on the streets; rapid re-housing to provide time-limited permanent housing and stabilization services; and Homelessness prevention for individuals and families. 

NAME CDBG HOME ESG HOPWA HTF 
State of Oregon $11,885,356 $9,311,629 $1,981,045 $657,515 $10,567,910 
Albany $339,200 $0 $0 $0 $0 
Ashland $185,899 $0 $0 $0 $0 
Beaverton $669,589 $0 $0 $0 $0 
Bend $558,787 $0 $0 $0 $0 
Corvallis $524,016 $367,796 $0 $0 $0 
Eugene $1,439,651 $1,514,256 $0 $0 $0 
Grants Pass $375,906 $0 $0 $0 $0 
Gresham $1,022,099 $0 $0 $0 $0 
Hillsboro $713,632 $0 $0 $0 $0 
Medford $734,360 $542,537 $0 $0 $0 
Portland $8,284,513 $3,923,762 $729,011 $1,891,284 $0 
Redmond $235,318 $0 $0 $0 $0 
Salem $1,363,446 $729,070 $0 $0 $0 
Springfield $554,506 $0 $0 $0 $0 
Clackamas County $2,203,267 $1,133,026 $192,180 $0 $0 
Marion County $1,446,086 $638,631 $0 $0 $0 
Multnomah County $273,283 $0 $0 $0 $0 
Washington County $2,071,033 $1,802,891 $161,798 $0 $0 
TOTAL $34,879,947 $19,963,598 $3,064,034 $2,548,799 $10,567,910 

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