Housing Works, the Central Oregon public housing authority, was recognized Thursday in Redmond for its work helping rural Central Oregonians into their own homes.
Officials of the U.S. departments of Agriculture and Housing and Urban Development handed Housing Works two awards, one for achievement in providing housing options in Central Oregon and an individual award to a manager for her work in the HUD Family Self-Sufficiency Program.
“We open the door to affordable housing opportunities for those who have been locked out, and USDA and HUD are significant partners in that work,” Tom Kemper, Housing Works executive director, was quoted as saying. Kemper accepted an award for providing outstanding housing options.
Housing Works obtains public funding from federal, state and local governments and leverages those funds with private capital from local financial institutions and foundations to provide quality housing that meets communities’ needs, according to a USDA spokeswoman.
Housing Works client services manager Kelly Fisher received an award for her work in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. USDA loans and a voucher program help low-income households transition from renter to homeowner status.
“Over the past several years, 19 families have used their vouchers to achieve homeownership,” Fisher was quoted as saying, “and 12 of those qualified and used USDA loans.”
Dom McCoy, USDA Rural Housing Service chief of staff, and Doug Carlson, HUD community planning and development director for Oregon, made the presentations to Housing Works and homeowners taking part in its programs. Statewide, 150 families, including 19 in Central Oregon have used HUD Housing Choice vouchers to leverage a home purchase, according to HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride.
— Bulletin staff report