Volume XX | Month Day 20XX
PATHWorks Newsletter: December 2017
Waitlist - Success Stories - Employment - Finances - Asset Building - Community Events - Housing Works Updates - Resources
Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List Opening
Housing Choice Voucher Program - Waiting List Opening

It's that time of year again! The waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher Program will open:

Monday, January 8th, 2018 (8 am) through Friday, January 12th, 2018 (5 pm)

This program is open to low-income qualified residents of Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties. Applicants must apply online at www.oregonhousingworks.org.

The time you apply during the week does not impact your position on the waiting list . All applications taken during the open period will be randomized by a computer and placed on the waiting list to give all applicants an equal chance. All current applications are purged from the waiting list on December 31st. Anyone who is currently on the waiting list needs to reapply to the 2018 list.

If you need assistance filling out the application, Housing Works will have staff and computers available at our office located at 405 SW 6th St., Redmond, OR 97756 between 8 am and 5 pm during the application week.

You may call Housing Works for more information at: (541) 923-1018.
SUCCESS STORIES
Congratulations S.T.E.P.S. Graduates

Congratulations to the most recent graduates of the “Steps to Economic and Personal Success” (S.T.E.P.S.) workshop.

The workshop, developed by the Pacific Institute in Seattle, Washington, consists of education focused on how the mind works and the importance of changing your mind to help set and achieve your goals. Participants explored their own histories and reflected on how the material applies to their unique experiences. In many cases, the participants discovered that they had many more similar experiences than differences.

The goal of the program is for participants to walk away with new skills to see their situation from a new perspective, to understand how decisions are made, and to set a new vision or picture for their future goals.

Once again, thank you to the participants for committing four nights of their time. We all got to know each other a little better and had a lot of fun along the way. 
EMPLOYMENT
Negotiating Raises and Benefits

Get the recognition you deserve by negotiating a raise or more benefits. The best times to negotiate for more money is with a new job offer. You may also discuss negotiations during your performance review or when you have been tasked with additional job responsibilities.

Here is a list of some of the benefits you may be able to negotiate:
  • Hourly or salary pay
  • Bonuses or commission
  • Job title
  • Vacation time
  • Health benefits
  • Training and travel
  • Schedule

Read the steps below on how to ask for more money or more benefits:
  • First, do a self-evaluation of your work to determine whether or not you deserve it.
  • Second, know your worth. Provide specific examples of your work during the negotiation, including quantitative (how much work you do) and qualitative (does the quality of your work exceed your peers).
  • Do research on what is acceptable and appropriate to ask for based on your position, experience, education, and the city you reside in.
  • Next, have the conversation at an appropriate time.
  • Lastly, have the conversation with your supervisor and think win win. How will you both benefit from your employer granting your request to pay you more or offer you more benefits?

Keep in mind, it is more than the numbers on your paycheck when you are negotiating for a raise or benefits. Evaluate all of your options and follow the steps listed above to get what you want from your employer. Negotiate with professionalism, tact, and goodwill.
FINANCES
Free or Low-Cost Gift Ideas

You can save money this holiday season by giving free or personable gifts that will please your friends and family!

During this time of year, there is pressure to "Keep up with the Joneses" as a way to make an impression. With Christmas especially, it is easy to believe that you must purchase gifts for others because that's what others are doing. Yet this is the season of giving, and those gifts do not have to be expensive or purchased. Many gifts can be inexpensive or, even better, free. 

Here are some ideas:
  • Personalized coupons, such as the promise of a coffee or movie date
  • Cutting down the Christmas tree and decorating it together
  • Homemade gifts such as cookies, jams, or candies
  • Themed gift baskets
  • Preparing and delivering a delicious meal
  • Spending time together on an activity you both enjoy
  • Attending a free local event that the recipient might not have experienced

It's fun to consider these personalized gifts. They make an impression and promote closeness. Spend less this holiday and make a memory instead.
ASSET BUILDING
Pre-Tax Deductions

Many employers offer pre-tax benefits. A pre-tax deduction is money that is removed from an employees wages before it is taxed that can be used to pay the premium of a specific benefit. These deductions are taken out before taxes and therefore reduce the amount of income employees have to pay taxes on, known as taxable income.

Common pre-tax deductions include:
  • Some retirement plans (such as a 401(k) plan)
  • Health insurance
  • Health savings accounts
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Life insurance
  • Transportation programs
  • Dependent care programs

Ask your employer if they offer any pre-tax benefits that you can sign up for. This will save you money today to set aside for the future. Watch the video below for more information.
COMMUNITY EVENTS
Lawyer in the Library

The Deschutes County Access to Justice Committee has established a “Lawyer in the Library” program which will provide free 30-minute consultations with a local attorney at the downtown Bend branch of the Deschutes Public Library on Wednesday nights from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Consultations are on a first-come, first-serve basis on topics including small claims, contracts, landlord-tenant issues, domestic issues, wills and other civil matters. These consultations do not cover criminal issues.

This program is intended to assist people in:
1) answering their questions,
2) helping them determine if they have a legal issue, and
3) provide some general direction regarding their next steps and/or a referral to additional resources.

One of the main focuses of the Lawyer in the Library program is to improve access to legal services in Deschutes County for people in our community who don’t qualify for Legal Aid services and who cannot afford an attorney on their own. The Oregon Judicial Department offers an online self-help center with legal forms, information, and resources at http://www.courts.oregon.gov/help/Pages/default.aspx .

Contacts:

For more information regarding the Access to Justice Committee, contact:
Jeff Hall, Trial Court Administrator
541-317-4780

For more information regarding the Lawyer in the Library Program, contact:
Nate Pederson, Community Librarian
541-617-7092
Toys for Tots

The Salvation Army provides Christmas dinner boxes and gifts for kids 18 years old and younger. You may pick up an application at the Bend Salvation Army and receive the gifts and food the same day (if you qualify) on December 19th, 20th, or 21st. The Salvation Army will be open on these dates from 9 am- 4 pm. This program is available for low-income families per USDA guidelines. You must provide: photo ID, proof of income, proof of date of birth for children (i.e. birth certificate or medical ID) and proof of residence in Central Oregon with your application in order to qualify. Residents living in Redmond may request an application prior to these dates. Once the application is submitted and approved, eligible families will be contacted by the Salvation Army to coordinate a pick-up date and time at the Redmond Fairgrounds.

Click here for the 2017 Christmas Assistance Application.

If you have further questions, please contact the Salvation Army.

Phone: (541) 389-8888  
Address: 515 NE Dekalb Ave., Bend, OR 97701
HOUSING WORKS UPDATES
DEVELOPMENT

Development Updates

More affordable housing is in the works for Central Oregon! With rents continuing to rise and wages unable to keep up, many families are in need of affordable housing. In addition to the completion of Cook Crossing in Redmond (see the August newsletter to read more about this 48-unit senior community) and the start of construction on Ochoco School Crossing in Prineville (which will provide 29 multifamily units – see the October newsletter), Housing Works is currently in the planning stages for 2 new affordable communities; one in Sisters and one in La Pine. These multifamily communities will provide much-needed affordable housing for 90 Central Oregon households.

The La Pine Townhomes development will provide 42 affordable homes to low-income households. Housing Works is very excited about this townhome community as it will be the first affordable property for Housing Works in La Pine. La Pine Townhomes will provide 8 one-bedroom flats, 17 two-bedroom townhomes and 17 three-bedroom townhomes on approximately 2.5 acres for households at or below 60% of area median income. The design of the La Pine Townhome community will be very similar to Moonlight Townhomes which have just been constructed in northeast Bend on Full Moon Drive.

The La Pine Townhomes development site is in a desirable location. It is less than a mile from the La Pine schools, 0.3 miles from the Deschutes Children’s Foundation, and 1 mile from the Highway 97 Business Corridor which includes grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, banks and hotels. 

Housing Works expects to break ground on the La Pine Townhomes in early 2018. Build time is estimated at 11 months. See next month's newsletter in January to read about the Village Meadow Apartments in Sisters.
RESIDENT SERVICES
Welcome Amorita

Please help us in welcoming Amorita Anstett as the new Resident Services Coordinator at our affordable housing properties. She is a native Central Oregonian where she grew up on her family ranch in Prineville and participated in rodeo events during her youth. She graduated from Madras High School and then from Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication. Currently she lives in Redmond with her husband Jess and daughter Jayden. 

Amorita comes to us with a wealth of experience. She was a Self Sufficiency Program Branch Manager at the Department of Human Services in Bend and La Pine and a Case Manager in Madras. Most recently, she worked for Heart of Oregon Corps Youth Build in Sisters as an Advocate/Case Manager for at-risk youth. She is an active member of the Sisters Rodeo Association, enjoys barrel racing in her free time, and goes to Disneyland as much as possible with her family.

She is looking forward to meeting the residents, site managers and community partners, as well as working with the Housing Works family.

To contact Amorita, you can:
or call her at: (541) 323-7419.

Welcome Amorita!
Tutor Home Available- Rent a home in Prineville for only $850/Month.

Housing Works' Tutor Home Program, our "homeowner in training" program, provides residents the opportunity to lease a home for up to two years while they take steps to prepare for the purchase of their own home.
 
How It Works:
  1. You receive one-on-one counseling about the home buying process.
  2. We review your credit report and suggest steps to improve your credit.
  3. We help you develop a spending plan and make deliberate decisions about where you want your money to go.
  4. You open a matched savings account (VIDA).
  5. You are eligible to apply for a grant when you are ready to buy your own home to help with closing costs.
  6. We support you through the home loan and closing processes.
 
Are You Eligible?
  • HCV Holders only
  • Available to those earning 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI)
  • Must reside or work in Deschutes, Crook or Jefferson County
  • Tenants must demonstrate that by the end of the lease a) their income will be sufficient to support a mortgage, and b) they will be in a position to obtain mortgage financing
  • Participants must comply with a Tutor Home Lease Agreement, pass home inspections, and complete program requirements

For more information, please contact Housing Works' Family Self-Sufficiency Program Manager, Andy Hall, at (541) 323-7413 or email him at ahall@housing-works.org .
  RESOURCES