Community Services Consortium

Serving Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties in Oregon. Helping people. Changing lives.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Loan Preservation Assistance Now Open to Distressed Homeowners

Distressed homeowners in Linn and Lincoln Counties can now apply for the Loan Preservation Assistance program at

Loan Preservation Assistance is the newest program offered by the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative designed to help Oregon homeowners that have recovered from a financial hardship but have past-due payments threatening foreclosure. The Loan Preservation Assistance program will preserve their existing mortgage by paying off past due payments and fees in order to bring their mortgage current. By doing so, homeowners are more likely to avoid foreclosure.

For qualified applicants, the Loan Preservation Assistance program will make a one-time payment for the total amount of past due payments and fees up to $20,000, the maximum dollar limit, which will be sent directly to their mortgage lender or servicer to bring their mortgage current.

The Loan Preservation Assistance program has new opportunities to apply every two weeks on Wednesdays at noon, please check the program page at for availability schedule. The program was initially available as a pilot in select counties, but is now open to all homeowners in the state of Oregon. Community Services Consortium is the local program provider for homeowners in Linn County at our Albany office, and in Lincoln County through our Newport office.

The Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative website provides helpful information about the application process, including a how-to video that answers the most common questions about the program. To learn more watch the “How to Apply” video and take the eligibility questionnaire and to apply visit

Once launched statewide, the Loan Preservation Assistance program aims to help an estimated 2,000 Oregon homeowners avoid foreclosure. The Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative is managed by Oregon Housing and Community Services and has already provided more than $60 million in assistance to more than 4,500 Oregon homeowners.

Homeowners without internet access can visit Community Services Consortium in Albany at 250 Broadalbin Street SW, Suite 2A or in Newport at 120 NE Avery Street or call 503.986.2025 for alternative solutions.

CSC Career Tech Whiz Kid Banking on Business Education

Star Carrera (left). Photo by Jim Fossum/News Guard
By Jim Fossum, The News Guard

Estrella "Star" Carrera attended Career Tech High School to help identify a business she might be interested in pursuing, and — for the time being, at least — she's done that.

Some day, she hopes to own one.

Barrera is among a group of middle- and high school-age students or recent graduates who have taken advantage of the Neighbors For Kids' Youth Entrepreneurship Program designed to open doors for aspiring youth to get started in the business field.

"My dream is to one day own a business," said Barrera, who has developed “Starlicious Cookies and Treats.” “So, it's definitely shown me that you need a lot of effort and help from all the people you can get. It's showed me how to manage a business, how to actually run a business."

The second-year program, which utilizes skills and business practices learned from Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE, pronounced nifty) curriculum, is designed to inspire youth from low-income communities to recognize lucrative financial opportunities and plan for successful futures.

For the full story, pick up the Sept. 12 edition of The News Guard or read it online.
Note: The News Guard article mispelled Carrera's last name with a "B" instead of a "C".

CSC Helps the Homeless

Albany Partnership for Housing and Community Development acquired and rehabilitated two properties with the help of the Community Services Consortium. 

The residences are available to Albany’s homeless who are trying to redirect their lives. Those staying at the locations will have the opportunity to learn a variety of life skills such as parenting, personal finance and budgeting.

The Albany City Council voted unanimously to exempt the two properties owned by the Albany Partnership for Housing and Community Development from paying city property taxes.

For more information click on the Albany Democrat Herald article.

Welcome to HandsOn Willamette!

After careful consideration, HandsOn Linn Benton and our counterpart to the north, HandsOn Mid-Willamette Valley, have made the decision to join forces and become HandsOn Willamette. Similar missions and a united goal to help volunteers flex their amazing muscles throughout the community made this a very easy decision for all involved.

So what does this mean for you? Well not very much will change. You will still have access to the wide variety of service opportunities on the HandsOn website. You will still be able to track your volunteer hours in your HandsOn account. However, you will need to update your bookmarks! HandsOn’s web address has changed to You now will also see opportunities across Linn, Benton, Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties. All of your volunteer opportunities, connections and service records are saved there. You just need to reset your password to access your volunteer account. Enter your username in the Login box in the top right corner and click “Forgot Password.” A temporary password will be emailed to you. If you happen to have a HandsOn account with HandsOn Linn Benton and HandsOn Mid-Willamette Valley, let us know! We can merge the two together to make it easier for you to be a volunteer superhero spanning the valley.

Thank you for your support of HandsOn Linn Benton over the years. We are so excited to see what the coming years will bring as HandsOn Willamette. If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to drop us a line. We are here for YOU, the volunteer!

Want to know more? Check out this article in the Statesman Journal.

Defense and Offense Matter in Football and in Preventing Improper Payments

By Alan Edwards, Social Security Public Affairs

Making proper Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments is no game. But improving our accuracy has some similarities to a good football strategy. You’ve got to be strong on both defense and offense.

Social Security is committed to reducing improper payments. Our goal has always been to pay the right person the right amount at the right time. And we’re highly successful at doing that.

In paying retirement, survivors, and disability benefits to more than 55 million people each month, our accuracy rate is over 99 percent. When it comes to Supplemental Security Income – the means-tested program for elderly, disabled and blind people who have limited income and resources – our payment accuracy is about 91 percent.

As with a good game of football, we need a game plan to improve payment accuracy. Here is ours.

On offense, we check and recheck our benefit computations and recipient information. That’s done at kickoff, before we ever make a payment.

On defense, we have game plans, or strategies, to collect funds back from the person we improperly paid, especially if the error was the result of a beneficiary failing or incorrectly reporting an event that affects his or her payment amount. When an individual commits fraud in order to receive payments not due, we prosecute him or her to the fullest extent of the law.

We will continue to work on offense and defense in our efforts to perfect our game plan and to make each and every payment a touchdown. Learn more about what Social Security is doing to prevent improper payments by visiting our website on the subject at

If 2013 is Your Lucky Year to Retire, Perpare Now

By Alan Edwards, Social Security Public Affairs

Do you plan to begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits early in 2013? If so, now is the time to prepare. We recommend you apply up to four months before you want your retirement benefits to begin.

These days, you no longer need to travel to an office or wait in line to apply for benefits. You can do it from your home or office computer. The Social Security website at makes the process easy and convenient.

You can complete your application for retirement benefits in as little as 15 minutes. In most cases, after you submit your online application electronically, that’s all you have to do. You’re done. There are no forms to sign or additional paperwork to complete. In rare cases where we need additional information, a representative will contact you.

Not ready to retire yet? Perhaps you want to plan ahead and begin considering your options regarding when to retire. In that case, you’ll want to visit Social Security’s website to use our convenient and informative retirement planner at Here you can find out just how close you are to meeting your financial goals and then “bookmark” the website to apply for retirement benefits whenever you are ready.

We encourage people at any stage in their working career to use the Retirement Estimator for an instant, personalized estimate of future retirement benefits. Find it at

Remember that you’re always first in line when you go online, to

Here’s to a lucky 2013. If you’re planning to retire and begin receiving Social Security benefits in January, start the year off right by applying online now for Social Security benefits.

Welcome to CSC's blog and e-newsletter!

These communications tools can be used to make announcements, acknowledge donors and volunteers, post videos and slideshows–whatever we want to share with our online community.

There are 3 ways to deliver info to stakeholders:

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We're excited about these communication tools and look forward to both your input and feedback for continuing improvement and positive information-sharing.

If you have agency/program information you'd like posted on this blog, please send full text and/or photos and videos, ideas, or suggestions to Janet Hessel and she will take the next steps.