From Home Forward's press release:
Home Forward’s recent investment in its rent assistance program aimed at decreasing tenant rents and improving housing searches for thousands of families assisted with a Housing Choice Voucher in privately-owned rental housing. This change increases “payment standard” subsidy levels to between 95% and 105% of fair market rent (FMR) in each of Home Forward’s nine payment standard zones throughout Multnomah County, representing an approximately $8 million annual investment in thousands of households.
Home Forward chose to advance race, gender, and geographical equity in pursuit of reducing disparities among subsidized households in private market rentals. As a result, the projected average tenant rent portions for Black, Native American, and Latinx households will reduce by 51%, 52%, and 50%, respectively, compared to the 41% average rent portion reduction throughout the Housing Choice Voucher program. Subsidy increases were also focused in communities experiencing historical and recent displacement, with a goal of increasing choice and opportunity for households searching for homes in neighborhoods around Portland’s urban core. Amongst households that benefit from this change, 80% are headed by women with children; subsidy increases will impact over 3,100 youth and children. Families renting 2, 3, and 4-bedroom homes can expect to see average annual rent reductions of $2,500 each year
“This investment will have a meaningful impact on housing stability by reducing rent burden for so many families in our community,” said Dena Ford-Avery, Director of Housing Choice Vouchers at Home Forward. “This step highlights Home Forward’s commitment to centering equity in our housing programs while advocating for increased rent assistance funding in our region.”