Families get Multnomah Co help after rent doubles

Residents at Normandy Apartments had rent doubled

The Normandy Apartments on NE Killingsworth in Portland, February 2, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A week after learning their rent would be doubling in April, families at a Northeast Portland apartment complex are getting financial help from Multnomah County.

A total of $48,000 will be given to 18 families with children who attend the nearby Rigler Elementary School.

Lizzie Martinez, the director of Development and Communications for the Latino Network in Portland, February 2, 2017 (KOIN)
Lizzie Martinez, the director of Development and Communications for the Latino Network in Portland, February 2, 2017 (KOIN)

Lizzie Martinez, the director of Development and Communications for the Latino Network, said the county was “just looking for a way to find existing funding and repurpose it to be able to help these specific families.”

Families living at Normandy Apartments learned their rent will double on April 1. Some residents said they’ll have no choice but to move out of 18-unit complex on Northeast Killingsworth Street.

The families can use the money to either pay their higher rent rates through the rest of the school year or move to a new place.

“We’re asking landlords to be part of the solution.” – Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury

“This money is being designated, so they are applying through our program,” Martinez said, and then case workers “are helping walk them through the process to actually get that rental assistance.”

KOIN 6 News learned the money is coming from STRA funding — Short Term Rental Assistance — a pre-existing fund that has not yet been divvied.

“We know that it’s much more cost effective and much more humane to keep people in their homes with a little bit of money instead of have them become homeless,” said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury.

She told KOIN 6 News the county chose to give rent assistance in this instance because the Normandy Apartments housed a large portion of the community in that neighborhood..

“We know that we can’t set a precedent because we know that we don’t have enough taxpayer dollars to help in every single situation,” Kafoury said. “And that’s why we’re asking landlords to be part of the solution.”