Monday, May 31, 2010

Hardest Hit: Using 120% of Statewide Median Income Would Exclude More than 172,000 Metro Residents From Eligibility.

In Hardest Hit testimony and materials last week before the state legislature, OHCS staff continued to reference using a single 120% of statewide Median Family Income standard for Hardest Hit program eligibility. With the application due to Treasury by COB Tuesday there is still an opportunity for OHCS to use the higher of 120% of local or 120% of statewide median income standard. 

I have previously provided data to show that some Oregon metro areas, including Bend and the Portland metro area would be disadvantaged by using a single statewide median income standard. (see prior post HERE).

Quantifying the People Impact
I prepared a new table HERE that helps quantify the PEOPLE impact that use of a single statewide standard will have on Metro areas of the state:
  1. The combined ELIGIBLE population would be 172,000 lower in Bend, Portland Metro, and Corvallis as a result of using ONLY the statewide 120% of median family income standard proposed.
  2. Use of a higher of 120% statewide OR 120% local median family income eligibility standard would NOT reduce the current number of eligible households in ANY area.
  3. Only 52% of Portland metro residents would fall within the 120% statewide median income standard compared to the 61% that would fall within the 120% of local median family income standard.
  4. 120% of statewide median income is only 104% of Portland Metro Median Family Income, 103% in Corvallis,and 117% in Bend. 
  5. Conversely, 120% of statewide median income is 129% of the Eugene local median income and 135% of Medford's local median income.
Notes: I used HUD FY 2010 Oregon Metro income distribution information for my calculations; for Portland metro area I included only the Oregon population portion of the metro area for my calculations on the eligible population. Excluded population somewhat overstated as renters are included in population--income distribution does not break out renters vs homeowners so no direct homeowner only calculation is possible.

(If you discover any math errors, as always, please do let me know).

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tom:

    A few thoughts on your most recent posting. We landed on the 120 percent of state median income standard for a few reasons:

    * Our mission. OHCS exists to serve low- to moderate-income Oregonians.
    * Ease of administration. OHCS and the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative will be working with national servicers/lenders as well as a statewide network of foreclosure counselors. A single eligibility standard will allow them to provide consistent support while minimizing the chance of errors.
    * Limited resources. As we have pointed out many times, $88 million will not stretch far enough to help every Oregonian whose mortgage is delinquent. Eligibility criteria help us manage limited resources and target those families we exist to serve.

    We will closely monitor the program results to ensure that we reach our performance targets. If the program, as designed, doesn't reach enough people in Multnomah County, then we may retool the program.

    Take care,
    Lisa Joyce
    Policy and Communication Manager
    Oregon Housing and Community Services