January 30, 2017 Update
Over the past month, Albany Partnership for Housing & Community Development (APHCD) has been exploring the issue of extremely long waitlists for housing at our properties. This began with purging waitlists by calling applicants and confirming that they were still interested in APHCD housing. The process confirmed that indeed, our waitlists are still extremely long. The next step included analysis of data including number of people on the lists, vacancies over the past two years, and general trends at each property. Next, we submitted our analysis to the Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) for approval to close the waitlists. This information was also presented to our Board of Directors by APHCD staff.
What we found in the analysis is that we have data to support that it would be at least two years, in some instances significantly longer, before a person applying today would be offered a unit. For example, at Periwinkle Place we currently have 71 people on the waitlist. There has been one vacancy in the past year. The long waitlists, in combination with low vacancy rates, led us to conclude that some sort of action should be taken.
With approval from the OHCS, and the APHCD Board it was decided that closing all regular waitlists for the time being is the best step to take. We will not be accepting applications for the regular lists after 8:00 a.m. on January 30, 2017. All applicants who have already turned in applications will remain on the lists. We will review data regularly and reopen lists as soon as reasonable.
Making this decision was difficult, but necessary. We get multiple people calling each day looking for immediate housing. We will continue to refer them to other agencies and the Linn County Adult Service team, which may be able to help them access other resources. Community agencies put a great deal of time into assisting clients with applications and providing transportation to our office. With the closed lists, they will be able to support their clients in other ways that may have more immediate results.
At a training about Trauma Informed Practice, one of our staff said, “Being on a waitlist can be a traumatic experience.” Our hope is that by taking steps now we can avoid the disappointment of being on a waitlist and remaining there for years at a time without an offer of a home.
APHCD will continue to provide housing and services to over 350 residents at our properties and in the greater community. This includes the following:
· Safe, comfortable, and affordable housing at four properties in Albany
· Step Forward Housing will continue to serve people with a preference for residents of Albany who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. For more information, please contact Annie McDonald at 541-926-5451
· Supportive services ranging from case management to onsite classes are offered to all residents
· Community rooms at Songbird Village and Periwinkle Place are available to residents and the community at no charge
· Actively working with community partners to promote housing stability in the local area
For more information please feel free to contact Sara Drayton or Annie McDonald at 541-926-5451.
*All properties have income and rent limits. Ask each manager for details.