NAYA Selected for Pilot of State-Wide Housing Institute
NAYA—along with partners the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, Housing Development Center, and Income Property Management—have been selected to participate in Oregon’s first cohort of the Oregon Supportive Housing Institute. The institute will provide the cohort with training and technical assistance to develop “permanent supportive housing” (PSH) projects.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that chronically homeless individuals with complex needs are best served with permanent housing that is tied to intensive services, otherwise known as PSH. The benefits for the community, families, and individuals greatly justify these additional measures and efforts.
As a result, primary funding agencies that address homelessness have made PSH programming their top priority. For instance, housing bonds recently established by Oregon Metro and the City of Portland recommend that between 20% and 40% of contractors provide either PSH units, or units for households at or below 30% of area median income.
The OSHI is among these steps. Established by the state’s housing finance agency, Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS), the institute will provide selected teams with intensive training on PSH.
A primary goal is to ensure that each team is equipped with adequate knowledge, skills, and training to develop and maintain this specialized housing for vulnerable Oregonians. Training topics will include coordinated service delivery, financial forecasting, property management, Medicaid integration, trauma-informed care, and much more.
Completion of the institute will also allow prioritized access to competitive funding for capital development and rental subsidies. In 2019, $54.5 million was allocated in Oregon for PSH funding—$20 million of which is available for capital development as part of this pilot program. In fact, future capital-development and rental-assistance funding will only be available to teams who successfully complete the institute.
Completion will also ensure that the resulting project will be well placed to capitalize on braided funding options, opportunities for systems reform, and policy collaborations. The endorsement by one of the nation’s leading providers of technical assistance for PSH will also provide greater certainty of the project’s success to funders and other stakeholders.
Among 29 participation proposals that were considered state-wide, NAYA’s ranked second of the top ten that were selected, just behind Portland’s housing authority, Home Forward.