U.S. Sens Merkley, Wyden announce 13 grants statewide, including to Washington County.

Washington County looks likely to receive a boost to address the lack of affordable housing, thanks to an influx of federal money.

Oregon's U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Sen. Ron Wyden on Tuesday announced more than $10.6 million in public housing grants awarded to housing authorities across Oregon. That includes $707,000 for the Washington County Housing Authority.

"This level funding boost will go a long way to help elevate our service, responsiveness and effectiveness given our aging public housing properties," said Komi P. Kalevor, executive director of the Housing Authority of Washington County. "We are excited beyond words."

The U.S. Housing and Urban Development Capital Fund provides annual funds to public housing agencies for the development, financing and modernization of public housing developments and for management improvements.

"The nation is facing its biggest housing affordability crisis in decades, with rents dramatically outpacing incomes," Merkley said. "Every family deserves a decent home in a decent community, and while much more needs to be done, these grants will support capital projects in every corner of Oregon."

Wyden agreed. "When Oregonians can't afford a roof over their heads, the health of our entire community suffers," he said. "With the cost of rent and housing soaring in Oregon and across the country, this much-needed public housing funding will help ensure the availability of this basic necessity that all Oregonians deserve."

Washington County is one of 13 Oregon recipients, and among 2,945 grants awarded nationally. Others housing authority recipients in Oregon include:

• Clackamas County: $1,320,695

• Douglas County: $387,686

• Lincoln County: $298,805

• Lane County: $1,376,302

• Malheur County: $110,420

• Polk County: $672,074

• Umatilla County: $276,285

• Klamath Falls: $160,915

• North Bend: $268,877

• Portland: $4,178,834

• Salem: $743,846

• Coos-Curry Housing Authority: $136,568

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