1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204
During Portland’s housing crisis, some of our neighbors need extra help paying their utility bill.
Today, Council held a work session to review our proposal to help cost-burdened renters.
The Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services have a nationally-recognized financial assistance program. But historically it didn’t reach people living in multi-family housing. The challenge is that many apartment buildings only have one meter, and many renters don’t have a utility account (instead, landlords include water and sewer in the rent).
To reach cost-burdened renters, we’ve proposed a partnership with Home Forward. The utility bureaus would contribute up to $500 annually for a low-income household that pays utilities through rent. Home Forward would then incorporate utility assistance into an existing, proven program they manage for low-income renters.
Today’s proposal includes other solutions to expand the financial assistance program, including lowering the bar to qualify and creating a single point of contact for customers to get help.
Special thanks to Gabe Solmer, Kathy Koch, Liam Frost, all the Water Bureau customer service staff, Home Forward, and the many community partners who provided input and joined us today.
“If I am to leave a legacy, what do I really want that legacy to be? It’s not going to be a building, and it’s not going to be wealth. I’d like to leave behind youth that are empowered to be changers. World changers.”
– Rev. Dr. W. G. Hardy, Jr.
Today, Nick was honored to attend the celebration of life for Reverend Dr. W. G. "Will" Hardy, Jr. at the Highland Christian Center.
Hundreds of community members and faith leaders gathered to pay tribute to Will’s life and legacy.
Pastor Hardy was a model "servant leader," dedicating a lifetime of service to our community. He served as Highland Christian Center’s senior pastor and founder of Highland Haven, a local non-profit.
A Portland native, Pastor Hardy advocated for the most vulnerable in our community. He worked to provide social services, including substance abuse treatment, to underserved Portlanders, to improve the well-being of African-American youth and families, and to change the conversation about mental health.
Nick was honored to co-host a day of appreciation for Pastor Hardy at City Hall in 2015.
Pastor Hardy's family is in our thoughts and prayers.