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Home Forward Will Increase Rent Assistance Limits on March 1
Home Forward will increase the majority of its rent assistance limits, called payment standards, on March 1 to keep pace with the robust Portland area rental market, giving people with a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) greater ability to rent in all areas of the community. This is the second round payment standard increases in the past 12 months.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires housing authorities to base payment standards on Fair Market Rents, which HUD establishes each year for different areas of the country. In 2014, the agency made two changes that allow it to respond more effectively to rents that are increasing at varying rates in different locations in Multnomah County. It used its Moving to Work deregulation authority to expand the range in which it sets payment standards, increasing the upper limit from 110% to 120% of FMRs. The agency also created nine payment standard zones within the county based on rental submarkets.
“The Housing Choice Voucher program provides an opportunity for people with low incomes to live in the neighborhood of their choice. We want our participants to have the option to choose a home based on proximity to good schools, public transportation, job opportunities, and other factors they consider important to their families,” said Dena Ford-Avery, director of Home Forward’s Housing Choice Voucher program. “Keeping payment standards aligned with market rents is one way to help ensure these choices are available to our participants.” The agency estimates the new payment standards will increase rent assistance payments $1.9 million over the next three years.
Click here for the new payment standards.
Updated March 2, 2014