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PATHWorks Newsletter: February 2017
Success Stories - Employment - Finance - Partners - Development - Updates - Resources
2016 PATHWorks Success Stories

The PATHWorks program is available to participants of the HUD Housing  Choice Voucher program.  It is a coaching program aimed at helping participants to increase earned income and financial literacy, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and make progress toward economic independence and self-sufficiency. The program provides participants with access to one-on-one coaching sessions to help them achieve their individual goals including employment, education, home ownership, small business development, health, and more. The program can last up to 5 years and to graduate from PATHWorks, participants must not be receiving TANF for at least the last 12 months prior to graduation, be suitably employed full-time (32+ hours/week), and achieve the individual goals they outlined at the beginning of their participation. 

PATHWorks Program 2016 Highlights:
  • 39 new participants were enrolled 
  • 16 participants graduated 
  • 11 of those 16 graduates received escrow funds
  • 12 participants released their vouchers and are no longer receiving Housing Assistance
  • 5 participants released their vouchers and purchased homes
These are just a few of the great successes that were achieved this past year. If you are interested in joining the PATHWorks program and are currently receiving a Housing Choice Voucher, please contact Housing Works and reach out to an FSS coordinator today! Remember, dreams become reality with a goal, a plan, focus, and follow through. 
Certificate or Degree Program?
Many careers require education and experience beyond a high school diploma. Going to college and working towards a degree, whether it is an Associate's Degree, Bachelor's Degree, a Master's Degree, or a PHD isn't for everyone though. Sometimes, people prefer a different route than earning a traditional degree.They do not want to wait that long and would prefer to start working and getting into a career field a lot sooner. A degree isn't the only option in furthering your education and skills. 

Many colleges and universities offer certificate programs in addition to degree programs. Our local community college, Central Oregon Community College, offers several certificate programs that people can enroll in. You can find out more information about their certificate programs, degree programs, career pathways, and gainful employment information by clicking here. If you are thinking about changing or expanding your career, this might be the right option for you. There are many advisers and counselors available to help you make the right decision for you and your future.

                       FINANCES                                      ASSET BUILDING
Free Tax Help

When filing your 2016 taxes, there are a number of free programs that can provide you assistance if you need it.  AARP/TaxAide is one of these programs. Please see the 2016 Free Tax Locations link here for more information. 

Visit a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program to file your taxes and make a plan to responsibly use your tax refund. The volunteers at VITA locations are trained by the IRS, and the service is free! Click here or call (800) 906-9887. 

There are also several free online websites you can visit for free tax aid help. Free File, a program available exclusively at IRS.gov in English and Spanish, offers brand-name tax software or online fillable forms. Taxpayers who earn $58,000 or less qualify for free software through a private-public partnership with the software providers. Taxpayers who earned more or who are comfortable preparing their returns can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic versions of the paper forms. Other free websites that can help with taxes include aarptaxaid.com and myfreetaxes.com.

While filing your taxes this year, don't forget to take advantage and claim the tax credits you qualify for. Some of these tax credits include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the Child Tax Credit. For more information about tax credits, see the videos below or  click here
IDA Funds Available Soon

A Valley Individual Development Account (VIDA) is a 3:1 matched savings account that enables families to save and build assets.  IDAs encourage savings by matching participant deposits, which then are invested in one of the following assets:
  • Homeownership
  • Small business start-up or expansion
  • Post-secondary education or job training
  • Employment-related adaptive equipment, technology or specialized training
IDAs are about more than receiving match money.  They are about building skills that will help individuals and their families move up the ladder of self-sufficiency. These skills are obtained through the completion of training focused on attaining and managing assets. Trainings focus on the specifics of each asset and provide a forum for participants to develop their skills as homeowners, entrepreneurs, students, or employees.

If you are interested in learning more about this program and applying, please contact Vanessa Casaubon at Housing Works today.
Phone: (541) 323-7410

The VIDA program will be available first to PATHWorks participants, then to Housing Choice Voucher holders, and then to the general public. Income limits apply based on household size and county of residence.

Thrive at Housing Works
Many of you may have heard about an organization called Thrive and all the wonderful services they provide. Housing Works is excited to announce a new partnership with Thrive and the availability of their services to our clients at our office. Thrive Central Oregon strives to connect individual needs with community resources. Through a three-year grant from Meyer Memorial Trust, Thrive is able to extend services specific to individuals and families who are utilizing or seeking housing support services through Housing Works. Thrive Executive Director, Sarah Kelley (MSW), is available to meet with individuals by appointment at Housing Works to offer assistance in locating and obtaining housing, connect individuals with medical and mental health supports, utility assistance, benefits and other basic needs. Sarah will also be providing housing workshops for voucher holders every Tuesday from  1-3:00 in an effort to help individuals and families get onto private market and apartment housing wait lists, utilize craigslist and learn strategies to obtain housing.  

Click on the Thrive logo for more information. 


                 DEVELOPMENT                                  HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER
Properties Receive Rehab

Housing Works recently finished improvements on three of its affordable housing communities: Riverside Apartments, a 41-unit senior property in Prineville; Chennai Landing, a 24-unit workforce housing property in Madras; and Brentwood Manor, an 8-unit senior and disabled property in Redmond. 

Riverside Apartments was originally constructed in 1996 and Housing Works acquired the property in 2013.  This property had several challenges, the most critical being a failing sewer system.  The property is located near the Crooked River, and the unstable soil banks caused the sewer pipes to settle and break.  We worked closely with engineers to stabilize the soils and secure the new sewer lines.  The parking lot was resurfaced and about 90% of the sidewalks were replaced to correct accessibility requirements. Other exterior improvements included new windows, siding and paint.  The units received new thermal heating and cooling units, countertops, energy star appliances, hot water heaters, light fixtures, toilets and ranges. 

Chennai Landing, originally constructed in 1999 and acquired by Housing Works in 2012, recently underwent a small rehab. The property received new siding and paint, a playground and sports court, parking lot and sidewalk improvements, and restructured landscaping to reduce water usage.  The units were updated with new cabinets, countertops, light fixtures, ranges, and dishwashers were added to each kitchen.  The property looks amazing and now provides a safe place for children and families to play.

Brentwood was originally constructed in 1977 and acquired by Housing Works at the end of 2015.  This property received major interior improvements. Each unit received fresh paint and new cabinets, countertops, sinks, appliances, lighting, toilets, hot water heaters, heat pump units and flooring.  The exterior improvements included siding, paint, windows, roof, exterior lighting, landscaping, a new and much improved parking lot, sidewalks and patios.  The tenants now have significantly improved accessibility to their units in addition to savings on their utilities. 

Kelly Fisher, Project Development Manager stated, “These three communities were some of the last properties in our portfolio in need of modernization. We are very happy with all of the improvements and added property amenities. We appreciate the residents’ patience with the rehabs. Many have expressed appreciation for the improvements.”

2017 Waiting List Closed

The 2017 waiting list was opened January 9th-13th.  Housing Works received a total of 2,427 applications. All applications that were submitted during this time have been randomized and placed on the waiting list to give all applicants an equal chance. Positions on the waiting list are available beginning February 1'st. W e will only pull about 500 applicants off the list to fill the approximately 120 slots that open up from participants leaving the program.

On December 31, 2017 all applications will be removed from the waiting list and applicants must reapply the following year if they are not chosen. The waiting list will be open again next year from January 8th- January 12th, 2018.