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Home Forward opens waiting lists

City housing agency takes applications in mid-November

Portland's Home Forward announced this week the first large-scale opening of its public housing waiting list in more than a year.

On Nov. 16, Home Forward (previously called the Housing Authority of Portland) will open waiting lists for about 800 apartments in seven public housing buildings on a first-come, first-served basis. One building, the Madrona Place Apartments on Southeast Burnside Street, began taking applications Nov. 2.

All the apartment units are for people older than 62, or those who are disabled. Public housing units require tenants to pay a portion of their income in rent, so those with little income pay very low rent.

People fortunate enough to be among the first applicants on the lists at their preferred apartment buildings are still likely to wait at least a year before a unit is available.

With public housing in short supply, Home Forward officials expect great demand for the waiting lists. The last time public housing waiting lists were opened, in July 2010, about 10 applications were received for every available apartment.

Those who wish to apply for the waiting lists should look at the available types of apartments and the buildings online at Homeforward.org.

At 9 a.m., Nov. 16, they will be allowed to download applications. They can fax in their applications or take them in person to any Portland public housing leasing office, regardless of which building they hope to move into. The offices are listed on the Home Forward website.

For more information about the application process, call the Home Forward hotline, 503-280-3760.

Home Forward owns and operates 2,500 public housing rental units throughout Multnomah County. Rent is usually about 30 percent of household monthly adjusted income.

The agency also oversees about 3,700 units of affordable housing in 33 properties across the county. Professional property management companies manage the affordably priced apartments.