Wyden, Merkley: Oregon Housing Authorities to Receive $2.3 Million in COVID-19 Aid

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that Clackamas, Douglas, Polk, Wasco and Clatsop counties will receive about $2.3 million to help residents with housing choice vouchers during COVID-19.

“Heading into winter when temperatures drop and with the battle ongoing against coronavirus, these housing resources are timely and essential to keep Oregonians safe and housed,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified this help has been secured for Clackamas, Douglas, Polk, Wasco and Clatsop counties and I’ll keep working to ensure that all corners of Oregon get all possible housing aid during this public health crisis.”

“Before the coronavirus hit, Oregon’s rural and urban communities alike were already experiencing severe affordable housing shortages,” said Merkley. “Now, this pandemic has pummeled our public health and economy and made it even harder for our families to keep roofs over their heads. I’m grateful that this federal funding is coming to Oregon to help us tackle our urgent housing crisis, and will keep fighting to secure every resource available to ensure that every Oregonian has a safe, affordable place to call home.”

The $2.32 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher program will assist very low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market.

This supplemental housing choice voucher funding is authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and will be distributed as follows:

·       Housing Authority of Clackamas County, $966,710

·       Housing Authority of Douglas County, $448,243

·       Housing and Urban Renewal Agency of Polk County, $156,967

·       Mid-Columbia Housing Authority, $259,607

·       Northwest Oregon Housing Authority, $490,235

“COVID-19 has increased the cost of supporting families with housing choice vouchers because people are losing jobs and more funding is needed to help fewer families,” said Sonya Fischer, Clackamas County Commissioner and Housing Authority Board Member. “Inadequate funding for the voucher program has for several months prevented us from helping the thousands of families on our waiting list, but this award from HUD means Clackamas County can support upwards of 90 additional families for the next year.”

 A web version of this release is here.