Washington County's Andy Duyck and Tualatin's Frank Bubenik reflect on two important federal tool, Community Development Block Grants and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program.

Although we are currently in an economic recovery, Washington County — like many municipalities throughout the region — is facing a steep challenge when it comes to keeping our communities vibrant and our housing options affordable. We are grateful to Sen. Jeff Merkley and the rest of the Oregon congressional delegation for their recent support as local governments continue to address this challenge.

Andy DuyckAs the Hillsboro Tribune recently described ("Housing Crisis Growing Worse for Renters in Hillsboro," May 12, 2017), almost half of renters and 29 percent of home owners are now paying over 30 percent of their income just to keep a roof over their heads. On the one hand, the private home building industry is adding thousands of new homes in Washington County's urban areas. On the other hand, we continue to face a growing shortage of 14,000 homes for those with low or extremely low incomes. These numbers are considerably higher than they were prior to the recession.

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