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Pamplin Media Group – Oregon housing director will take HUD regional position

COURTESY PHOTO: KOIN - Margaret Salazar of the Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services testifies in 2021.
Written by Publishing Team

Margaret Salazar spent 10 years at the federal agency before being appointed in 2016 to lead housing efforts in Oregon.

Margaret Salazar will become the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Northwest Regional Officer after more than five years leading the Oregon Housing Agency.

President Joe Biden announced her appointment Thursday, January 13, along with state appointees at the USDA.

Salazar spent 10 years at HUD before becoming director of the Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services in November 2016. She also served on the HUD review committee for Biden’s transition team before Biden became president on January 20, 2021.

Among her previous jobs at HUD were director of the Oregon field office in Portland and head of multi-family production in the San Francisco regional office.

The Area 10 office to be managed covers the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska.

As director of the State Housing Agency, Salazar helped develop the first statewide housing plan to expand the number of low-cost units with state funds. Just over two years after the plan, the agency and its partners had financed or built 18,000 homes—nearly 75% of the plan’s goal.

Governor Kate Brown sided with Salazar after Republican lawmakers called for her removal due to a backlog of thousands of applications for emergency rental assistance funded by state and federal funding. Oregon was among the states that exceeded initial targets set by the US Treasury to spend federally subsidized rent aid.

“With her broad leadership and experience with housing issues at the local, state, and national levels, I know she is the right person for the job, as she can use her talents to address the unprecedented housing challenges our nation faces, while also representing Oregon a unique voice and needs at the federal level.” “Housing stability is key, and we must work together at the local, state and federal levels to continue to increase the supply of housing, strengthen tenant protection, help more people return from homelessness to housing, and address our country’s legacy of racist housing policy that has created deep racial disparities in Housing and home ownership stability.

Before providing the initial $289 million in federal assistance last spring, Oregon lawmakers approved $200 million from the state budget for emergency rental assistance in December 2020. That money has been spent, and as of January 7, the state agency reports $222 million Federal funds in Oregon have been paid for emergency rent assistance to 32,000 families.

Oregon has requested an additional $198 million from the US Treasury, which will reallocate money that other states and communities have left unspent.

Oregon lawmakers approved a total of $215 million — $100 million in emergency rent assistance, and most of the remainder for services to avoid evictions — from the state budget in a special hearing on December 13.

Salazar grew up in Hood River and Portland. She received her BA from Wesleyan University and her MA in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Publishing Team