Community Action Team programs.

Financial aid is available from Community Action Team for struggling families in the counties of Clatsop, Columbia, and Tillamook. They administer government aid and offer their own resources as well, including Housing Solutions, rent help, and Energy Services among others. All aid provided from CAT comes with restrictions and a formal application process.

Another focus of the community action agency is on addressing the cause of the hardship. So case managers will help clients either find employment or improve their budgeting and credit scores. There are various programs that can help qualified low income and working poor families.

The non-profit has access to emergency housing assistance funds, but this type of support is limited. However they will be continually seek additional funding, including government grants, for the purpose of paying housing costs such as rent or heating bills.

Demand for such financial assistance in counties such as Clatsop is high, and since the agency is often without available funds, these resources are always subject to availability. When possible, their policy is to provide financial assistance or grants for rent or energy bills on a first come, first served basis, as funding is available. For more information or assistance with completing the application and intake packet, call 800-404-3511 or 503-397-3511.

The main goal of the Community Action Team Housing Solutions Programs is to provide tenants, individuals and families with the skills, tools and knowledge needed to achieve the goal of self-sufficiency. This can be accomplished by people living within their means in housing or an apartment that is affordable and permanent.

The non-profit will have information on a number of solutions offering permanent and transitional housing assistance, combined with intensive case management services. This is a rent subsidy service, so therefore those who are employed must use 30 percent of their income to make regular rent payments.

Additionally, to participate in these programs, applicants must agree to the following requirements. They need to create a budget and participate in monthly meetings with a Case Manager. Other goals include Obtaining Employment, the Creation of a Housing Stabilization Plan, Pay Off Past-Due Debt, and Obtain a College Degree or GED.





Additional specific housing programs in counties such as Columbia and Tillamook include the following.

CAT’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program assists homeless, low-income or at-risk clients by providing money for rent or security deposits. All assistance is provided on a first come, first served basis and of course is dependent upon availability of funding.

The Chronically Homeless as well as Permanent Housing for the Disabled Program targets homeless and disabled individuals and families. If they are eligible, the agency can offer rental assistance or no interest loans as well as case management services.

The Counseling and Mediation Service provides case management and counseling in regard to budgeting, rights, and responsibilities. Staff also offer referrals for households involved in disputes with landlords and free information in regard to tenants’ rights and responsibilities.

Community Action Team, in partnership with a number of local low-income apartment complexes, runs the Transitional Housing Program. This will in effect offer individuals and lower income families financial assistance with monthly rent payments, and any financial help will be combined with mandatory case management.

SSVF - Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program serves homeless or at-risk veterans. So it offers eviction assistance and other aid.

One option that is similar to Section 8, the CAT Home Tenant Based Assistance Program (TBA) furnishes temporary rent subsidies of a six to twelve-month in duration, with benefit amounts varying according to household income level. There is help for single parents, seniors, and others.

Offering utility bill assistance is the mission of the ESP - Energy Services Program. The agency can provide access to continuous, affordable and safe home energy sources for Columbia, Clatsop and Tillamook County residents. This will even help with paying water bills as well.




The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program that assists with the cost of heating bills, electricity, gas, oil, propane, or wood. LIHEAP also helps with minor heating repairs and furnace replacements. Another option is OEAP, or the Oregon Energy Assistance Program. This is only for customers of PacifiCorp, while the OLGA and GAP programs are available to Northwest Natural customers. The application sites are below.

Operated under the Federal Older American’s Act, CAT’s Senior Services Programs provide seniors (60 years and older) with a variety of services, including, but not limited to, home-delivered meals, preventative health care, free legal services, and other assistance that help seniors remain in their own homes. Available services include the following:

  • In-Home Services which provide trained care providers to help clients with routine daily activities.
  • Program case managers from Community Action Team maintain direct contact with clients, providing support services such as respite care and also the Oregon Project Independence Programs.
  • Senior Respite Care provides temporary, short-term breaks for caregivers of older, disabled and/or infirm family members.
  • Meals on Wheels will promote better health and nutrition among seniors, their spouses and disabled adult dependents. Volunteers will deliver them low cost home-delivered meals, and the service is offered to those who are unable to leave their homes to participate in the congregate (group) meals programs.

The community action agency Child and Family Development Programs are available to provide support and developmental services. This is offered for parents as well as families with children in Clatsop, Columbia, and Tillamook Counties. Components of it include Head Start pre-school as well as ongoing Parent Education and Support. There is also a Healthy Families service, and this distributes information and education in regard to prenatal care, child development and parenting.

Community Action Team has a few main offices in Oregon. The centers are as follows.

  • Columbia County - 125 North 17th Street, St. Helens, Oregon  97051, dial (503) 397-4951
  • Clatsop County - 364 9th St, Astoria, OR 97103, telephone (503) 325-1400
  • Tillamook County, 2310 First Street, Tillamook, Oregon 97141, dial (503) 842-5261



By Jon McNamara

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