SALEM, OR – Last week, for the second consecutive year, Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) received a national award for innovation presented virtually by the National Counsel of State Housing Authorities (NCSHA). In addition, OHCS Executive Director Margaret Salazar was elected as Vice-Chair of the NCSHA Board of Directors.

“I’m honored to be elected to a board leadership position at an organization that is so foundational in addressing the housing needs and inequities facing our country,” said Director Salazar. “At the same time, it was very meaningful for OHCS to be honored with an award for COVID-19 response. I’m so proud of the way OHCS staff have approached the multiple challenges presented this year with dedication, creativity and ongoing resilience while centering equity at every step. And of course, I am grateful to Governor Kate Brown and legislative leaders for historic housing resources that have helped us serve thousands more Oregonians this year.”

Out of 112 entries, OHCS and 15 other Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) were selected for showing innovation and excellence in addressing affordable housing challenges and the COVID-19 Response. OHCS has received more than $250 million in combined program funds from the Federal CARES Act and the Oregon State Legislature since March to respond to the increased number of Oregonians in need.                                                                                                                                      

“This year’s award winners reflect the innovation state HFAs around the country have shown in responding to the coronavirus, as well as their progress in solving the longstanding housing affordability needs of their states and the nation,” said NCSHA Executive Director Stockton Williams.

The winning Special Achievement COVID-19 Response submission is titled: COVID-19 Three Lessons in Organizational Resilience from Oregon. All of the nominated programs including the full list of winning entries recognized during NCSHA’s Annual Conference & Showcase can be read here. Additional information about NCHSA is available on their website: https://www.ncsha.org

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