PATHWorks Newsletter: MAY 2018
Success Story - Employment - Finances - Asset Building - Community Events - Housing Works Updates - Resources
SUCCESS STORY
Congratulations on your Home Purchase Kim F.!

Kim received her Housing Choice Voucher in March of 2012. Shortly after that, in June of 2012, Kim joined the PATHWorks program with the goal of owning her own home. Kim was recently divorced, working two jobs, and had to rebuild her finances while she supported her family. No easy task.

Kim was never one to give up or shy away from a challenge. She started by addressing her past credit history and paying off her debt. Her credit score at that time was 455. 

Cleaning up her past credit issues was a two year journey, but with the help of a local credit company she was able to clean up some of the most serious issues left over from her divorce. Kim investigated bankruptcy, but ultimately was able to avoid bankruptcy.

Kim needed to increase her income, so she found additional employment as a product display specialist for Mondelez while she continued to work full-time at the Riverhouse banquet facility. With her increased income, Kim began earning escrow savings and opened a VIDA 3 to 1 savings account through Families Forward to help her save for her down payment.
 
With her credit issue fading into the rearview mirror, and her credit score improving, Kim met with a local lender and mapped out a plan to get preapproved for a home loan. Even with the Central Oregon housing market booming and prices soaring, Kim stayed focused and never gave up. She made an offer on a home that ultimately was not accepted and the goal of homeownership seemed almost out of reach. 

Remember, Kim doesn't give up. She learned about the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) and identified a foreclosed home that would work under that program. Along with her lender and some support from Housing Works she was able to leverage her VIDA funds, escrow savings, and the NSP program to qualify for a home loan and purchase her new home.

Way to go Kim!
EMPLOYMENT
Accomplishments- Leverage your Strengths

What is your greatest accomplishment? What are you most proud of in your life and why? Take a few minutes and think about your achievements. Is it graduating college? How great your kids are? Developing a new system at work that is now used throughout the company?

Now that you know what your greatest accomplishment is, make a list of the strengths you used to achieve your success. Your list of strengths is probably getting pretty long, right? Most accomplishments are no easy task. When you start thinking about everything you had to do, wanted to do, and did, it took a lot to accomplish that. Whether it was the time it took, a certain set of skills you possess, or the physical and/or mental labor to reach that final goal, you did it.

You can leverage these strengths when looking for a new career or advancing in your existing career. Your accomplishments can help you identify your strengths and also help you during the interview process. Your strengths and talents are what set you apart from other applicants. A potential employer is looking for the best candidate. Identifying and answering the question, "What are my strengths?" helps the interviewer get a sense of who you are and how you might approach your work. As an applicant, sell yourself. You should share your best qualities and strengths, and highlight the value you will bring to your new employer.

Remember, it is always a great idea to practice interviewing before an interview, or when asking for a raise or a promotion.
FINANCES
Proactive Budgeting

Make a plan for your money ahead of time by proactive budgeting. This is different than retroactive budgeting, which is trying to figure out where your money went after the fact. The benefit of proactive budgeting is that you get to decide and control where your money goes. When you budget proactively, you can make tweaks and adjustments along the way. You will avoid unnecessary expenses, save money, spend wisely, and pay off debt quicker by using a written budget.

Proactive budgeting is crucial, especially when you receive a large sum of money such as a tax return. Many times we hear someone's plan to use their tax return to pay off debt. This is great in one aspect that the funds from the tax return is being put to good use. By proactive budgeting throughout the year and choosing how you spend your money, you could have the freedom to use your refund to start or to continue saving for emergencies or your retirement.

Everyone's budget is going to be different based on his or her own household's financial situation. The first step in proactive budgeting is knowing where your money is coming from and where your money is going. Find the best method for tracking your income, spending, and expenses that works for you. You could:

  • use an app such as Mint, Spending Tracker, or My Envelope;
  • analyze your bank statement at the end of the month;
  • use a budget template;
  • or write down every transaction.

After you track your income, spending, and expenses, analyze your budget. Once you know where your money is coming from and going to, you can then decide what changes, if any, you want to make in your budget. The only way to have more money is to make more or spend less. Make a plan of how you can increase your income, decrease your expenses, and control where your money goes.

Proactive budgeting will increase your financial stability now and secure the financial future you desire. It's your money. Take control of it!
ASSET BUILDING
Daily Education

Learning something new every day is essential to building assets. Why? Because you are your biggest asset. Knowledge gives you the power to act. People build wealth by having a plan for their financial future and taking action to build assets is a must. The catch is, you have to design, implement and execute the plan. 

What is your plan? How do you define an asset? What do you want your financial future to look like? Listed below are a few assets and terms you might want in your plan.

Retirement Savings    
4 01K • IRA • SEP IRA • Oregon Savings Plan
College Fund
529 • Individual Development Accounts
Insurance
Term • Annuities
Investing
Dollar Cost Averaging • Compounding
• Mutual Funds • Stocks and Bonds
Health
Diet • Exercise • Emotional Intelligence
• Self-Esteem

If you’re not sure what some of these terms mean or how they fit in your plan, then this is where your Daily Education routine comes in. If you don’t have a clear definition of what an asset is, spend time researching the term. This could include searching the web or making a trip to the library. Maybe you want to explore and attend a COCC Community Learning class on finances. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Learning involves teachers, right?

If you have limited income, research what others with low-incomes do to save and build assets. If you want your children to go to college, then read about saving and paying for college.

Focus and persistence is key. Stick with a subject and really dive into it until you understand it. Once you have done that, you can decide if you want to add this knowledge or strategy to your plan.

Your daily education can take just a few minutes a day. Make it a habit and it will become a positive in your daily life. Get your family involved and challenge each other. Before you go to bed, ask yourself: "What did I learn today that will help me grow into the future I desire?" Find the time.  You are worth it and your future depends on it!
COMMUNITY EVENTS
2018 Deschutes County Veterans' Benefit Expo

Please join us at the 2018 Deschutes County Veterans' Benefit Expo: Central Oregon Veterans Outreach Stand Down Resource Fair. It will be at the Redmond VFW on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. This fair is to connect veterans and their family members with resources they may find useful, all in one place for one day. There will be community partners from many local organizations providing information and resources. In addition, the Redmond VFW will provide a BBQ lunch for attendees.

Veterans and families of veterans, please consider joining us for resources and a free lunch!

Date: Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Location: Redmond VFW - 491 SW Veterans Way, Redmond, OR 97756
COCC Open House

Visit Central Oregon Community College and mingle with faculty, learn about academic programs, meet academic advisers and tour the campus. Families and friends are welcome. Enjoy food, prizes and children’s activities. Traductor de español in situ.

RSVP not required. Free and open to the public.

Date: Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Location: Coats Campus Center, Central Oregon Community College - 2600 N.W. College Way 
Bend, Oregon 97703

Questions? Call 541-383-7500.
HOUSING WORKS UPDATES
DEVELOPMENT
Dagget Lease up

Daggett Townhomes received the final go-ahead from the City of Bend on February 28, 2018 for occupancy. The 24 townhome units, including 10 two-bedroom and 14 three-bedroom units, were leased up and occupied by the end of March. New residents were chosen from a waiting list created almost a year ago. While the wait was longer than expected for prospective residents, the beautiful new property was worth the wait for the 24 families that now call Daggett Townhomes home. The affordable property is for workforce families at or below 60% area median income (AMI), which, for a family of four in Deschutes County, is $38,280.

Daggett Townhomes is located next to Ensworth Elementary School in northeast Bend and close to the St Charles Medical Center, The Forum Shopping Center and Pilot Butte State Park.

Daggett Townhomes is the sister property to Moonlight Townhomes, a 29-unit townhome property with the same income restrictions. The two properties are providing affordable homes for 53 workforce households in Bend. With vacancy rates remaining low and rents continuing to skyrocket, these new homes are now providing families with quality, affordable housing in Bend.
HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER
HCV and Landlord Scam Alert

Recently, Housing Works and a landlord were the victims of a housing scam.

In this particular case, the landlord was told that Housing Works would be issuing the applicant a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and the applicant would be receiving housing assistance on a particular date that was to be paid to the landlord. The applicant presented a falsified Housing Works letter with the HCV Program Manager's name forged at the bottom. Unfortunately, the landlord accepted the letter as proof of program eligibility and moved the tenant into the unit expecting payment from Housing Works.

As a reminder, this is not our process. 

Housing Works' process for the Housing Choice Voucher Program is as follows:

Once an applicant is selected from the HCV Waitlist, he/she will attend a one-on-one orientation and receive an actual Housing Choice Voucher with bedroom size, date issued and date of expiration. This document will be signed by both the Family Representative and a Housing Works Representative and is the only document landlords should use as proof of eligibility for the HCV program.  

After landlords complete the applicant screening, the next steps in the process are completing the Request for Tenancy Approval (Golden Key) and an HQS inspection conducted by Housing Works. All of these steps must be successfully completed before any housing assistance payments are made.

Landlords, if you believe you have been presented with a falsified document, please contact Housing Works at 541-923-1018. 

A special thank you to landlords for your continued participation in the Housing Choice Voucher program! 
  RESOURCES