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PCRI is excited to begin the second series of the “Money Smart” Financial Education Program in partnership with Banner Bank. Residents who complete the four-class program will earn $100 to open a new checking account. The program includes four 2-hour classes on Tuesday evenings, starting Tuesday, October 6, and will cover topics ranging from budgeting, balancing a checkbook, managing credit and avoiding identity theft.
Classes are limited to 35 participants and pre-registration is required, so residents are encouraged to RSVP as soon as possible to Amy Dang at PCRI. The classes include:
Participants who attend and complete all four classes will earn $100 from Banner Bank. Class sizes are limited and registration is required. Contact Amy Dang, PCRI’s Financial Education Specialist, for more information or to register. All classes will be held at the PCRI Annex, two blocks north of PCRI’s main office.
At an August 17 event, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Dan Saltzman announced the selection of a PCRI-led team to develop the former Grant Warehouse site. The site, located on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, between Cook and Ivy streets, is envisioned with new affordable rental housing and community-serving ground floor commercial retail space.
“Even though this is just one site, it is the beginning,” said Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick of the project’s goals to mitigate involuntary displacement.
PCRI and our project team, including co-developer Gerding Edlen, general contractor Colas Construction, and Carleton Hart Architects, were selected following a Request for Qualifications issued by Portland Housing Bureau. The RFQ served to identify the development team which could best meet the goals of Housing Bureau’s N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy and develop a project which would involve and benefit the Northeast Portland community as well as its its historically African-American residents.
“This is an important opportunity to provide access to affordable family rental housing in a neighborhood that has experienced displacement and gentrification in the past several decades,” said Ms. Fitzpatrick. “PCRI was formed as, and continues to be, a solution to involuntary displacement. This project will help ensure everyone can experience the stability, safety and dignity that a home provides.”
The announcement about the development team for the Grant Warehouse site was one of two cornerstone projects highlighted at the public event, held at the site of the former Grant Warehouse. Colas Construction and Majestic Realty will develop a new commercial project a short distance away at NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Alberta Street. That project will feature a grocery and other commercial retail space.
“Through their focus on commercial activity and affordable housing, both projects will add to the vitality and diversity of the community, and will serve to underscore our commitment to this vital section of Northeast Portland,” said commissioner Saltzman in an email invitation for the event.
“This is a happy, long awaited day,” said Mayor Charlie Hales.
PCRI, a HomeFree-USA affiliate, invites the housing community to join the “Reaching Millions” National Leadership and Housing Counseling Training Conference, held in Portland, Oregon, September 9-11, 2015. The 11th Annual conference is a unique training and networking event with a pre-conference workshop and reception on Tuesday, September 8.
The conference brings together housing counseling leaders and provides information on successful approaches and strategies that come from more than 20 years’ experience serving families across the country. Conference speakers will share insight and direction, participants will have networking opportunities, and are encouraged to participate in regional roundtables to discuss new opportunities.
Conference details can be found HERE. The conference will be held at the Portland Hilton and Executive Towers, located at 921 SW 6th Avenue in Portland. Special room rates are available for attendees.
HomeFree-USA brings together more than 150 non-profit community-based housing counseling leaders. PCRI and other HomeFree-USA affiliated organizations represent more than 4.5M families nationwide.
Please share and distribute this opportunity with your network and register today!
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and HUD have partnered to alert households of Section 8 scams which aim to cheat people seeking housing. If you are looking for Section 8 housing assistance, here’s something you need to know: don’t submit personal information, including Social Security numbers, bank or credit card accounts over the phone or on websites offering Section 8 vouchers or rental housing.
The Portland office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has heard recent reports of scammers who have made websites that look like registration sites for Section 8 waiting list lotteries and of apartment listings on Craigslist that are scams aimed at holders of Section 8 and other rental assistance vouchers. These websites or links may lead to an online application asking for personal information and can pose posts a danger to apartment seekers.
For rental housing seekers in Multnomah County, HUD recommends searching the Housing Connections website rather than Craigslist. For information on Section 8 “Housing Choice” vouchers, contact Home Forward, the housing authority for Multnomah County.
Here’s the real way things work: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Section 8 program provides funding to local government housing authorities. The local authorities issue housing choice vouchers to help people find housing in privately-owned rental units (including units owned by non-profit providers like PCRI). To get on the waiting list for a voucher, find your local housing authority and call or email them. In Portland, the housing authority is Home Forward. They can provide information about how to sign up for the Section 8 waiting list lottery. Again, there is no fee to register.
HUD cautions housing seekers to be cautious when searching online for the Section 8 voucher waiting list, the top search results often are bogus sites. The sites look very real: their names may say “Section 8,” and they might show an Equal Housing Opportunity logo. They may ask for fees and your personal information, like your Social Security number, but they won’t do anything for you. The scammers will keep your money and disappear. They also may give your personal information to identity thieves.
In another twist, some fake sites (or even real sites like Craigslist with scam links) list Section 8 properties that supposedly are available. They promise you can rent one, if you pay the first month’s rent via wire transfer or a prepaid card. The properties might exist, but the ads are fakes placed by scammers. If you pay, you just lose your money.
People have lost money and personal information to scammers – but they’ve also lost the chance to be in the actual lottery. Most people don’t realize they’ve been scammed until after the waiting list is closed.
Keep these tips in mind to avoid a Section 8 lottery scam:
This information was complied from information provided by Margaret Salazar, Field Office Director, HUD Oregon State Office and by Lisa Lake, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC.