PCRI and MHAC Offer a Hand to Homeowners

June 29, 2010 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

If you follow PCRI on Twitter or you’re our fan on Facebook, you may have already heard that PCRI, as part of the Minority Homeownership Assistance Collaborative (MHAC), has received a $120,000 grant from the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB).  The grant enables our collaborative (which also includes the African American Alliance for Homeownership (AAAH), Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) and Hacienda CDC) to help North and Northeast Portland homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure.  It also helps us assist these homeowners with necessary maintenance and legal issues.

Portland Housing Bureau put it this way:

Leaders of the North and Northeast Portland community have witnessed and reported to PHB an ongoing trend of long-standing, low-income homeowners experiencing foreclosure, lost equity and displacement from the community due to a variety of factors that include legal complications like cloudy title and probate issues, preventable foreclosures related to property taxes and Medicaid recovery, predatory lending, and unaffordable home maintenance. Community leaders have indicated that low- and moderate-income homeowners – particularly seniors and members of communities of color – may have challenges accessing existing community programs that could help.

PCRI, in concert with MHAC, applied to Portland Housing Bureau for funding to provide just this sort of outreach and support.  Our goal–as well as PHB’s–for this program is to help low-income senior homeowners in the North and Northeast Portland area to retain their homes as well as their equity interest in their homes.

Portland Housing Bureau chose our proposal, saying PCRI and our MHAC partners “demonstrated a long, positive history of working in N/NE, particularly within minority communities and with disadvantaged and at-risk residents.”

With this funding, our collaboration aims to help about 80 homeowners who are at risk for foreclosures.  The program will offer senior homeowners in North and Northeast Portland a helping hand to navigate the resources needed to maintain and retain their homes.

“Coalition members have strong ties to the African-American, Latino and Native American communities, and are well-positioned to provide culturally competent services to homeowner elders who may be worried about their homes,” says Margaret Van Vliet, PHB Director. “By combining PCRI, Hacienda CDC, NAYA, and the African American Alliance for Homeownership, MHAC has an extended network of contacts and large amount of trust in the community, as well as a solid infrastructure of programs and staff. We are confident that their relationship-focused approach will effectively mitigate loss of homeownership and displacement in the target neighborhoods.”

When it is up and running, the MHAC program will provide personal assistance to residents to identify their risks, create an action plan, help homeowners communicate with government agencies, banks and other organizations and will provide support to carry out the action plan.  Each member of the coalition brings unique and valuable connections to maximize our outreach efforts: community groups, religious organizations, housing partners, senior and community centers and other local agencies and organizations.

“Funding from  this grant is crucial in helping some of our most vulnerable community members be able to maintain homeownership and have a legacy to pass to the next generation,” says  Deborah Turner, PCRI’s Deputy Director.

The program is expected to be launched in July. Homeowners seeking help may call PCRI at 503-288-2923 and ask for the Homeownership Retention staff.

In addition to funding for this program, Portland Housing Bureau provided much of the information in this post.  You can read the original post (and see a great photo of PCRI’s Deborah Turner and Charles Funches) here.

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