Rent relief on its way
The city of Woodburn received a $450,000 community development block grant through Business Oregon, which will be used to provide emergency rental assistance to residents in the Woodburn, Gervais and Hubbard areas.
City Administrator Scott Derickson told the Woodburn City Council of the grant during a Feb. 8 meeting.
"I was cleared today to break the news to you tonight that the city will receive our $450,000 block grant that this council authorized to provide additional, supplemental rent and mortgage assistance for our city and Gervais and Hubbard," Derickson said. "I'm pretty proud of our team. I'll tell you that this is money that has come down as part of the COVID response from the federal government. Oregon's allotment will only support three or maybe four grants. These grants are highly competitive. I know several cities are working on trying to get theirs. Woodburn was first in and the first awarded in the state of Oregon."
The grant was obtained via a partnership with local nonprofit Love INC. The federal grant applications hinge on government entities working with local community development organization.
"It shows that the partnership that we tried to build early on as a strategy to bring a conduit of money in to support our community is working well," Derickson said. "Our partnership with Love INC has produced … $2.485 million, which is phenomenal for our community."
Love INC will administer the rental assistance program.
City spokesman Tommy Moore said the community development block grant program has been highlighted as a vehicle for providing financial relief to Oregon communities as a countermeasure to the coronavirus pandemic.
The city underscored criteria for those eligible as follows:
• must reside in Woodburn, Gervais, or Hubbard city limits;
• household income at or below 80% AMI (average median income);
• meet income eligibility guidelines;
• consecutive months behind in rent;
• must have a valid rental agreement.
Moore said the city will release additional information on the rental assistance program and on how to apply in the next few weeks.
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