Danny Moran with the Office of the House Speaker (www.oregonlegislature.gov/kotek) sent out the following press release this week outlining the housing related priorities of their legislative session this year. Don’t forget to follow your local ORHA association (https://oregonrentalhousing.com) and landlord education organizations like RPM Education (www.RPMEducation.org) for announcements and classes on any laws that are passed during this year’s session.
Proposal includes $535 million in new state investments for increasing affordable housing, addressing homelessness, and supporting homeownership
SALEM – House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) and housing committee chairs Senator Kayse Jama (D-Portland) and Representative Julie Fahey (D-Eugene) today released their housing priorities for the 2021 Oregon Legislative Session, focusing on bills and investments to increase the state’s supply of affordable housing, support communities helping Oregonians who are experiencing homelessness, prevent evictions and foreclosures, and reduce housing disparities for communities of color.
The leaders are requesting $535 million to invest in new and existing housing-related programs. In addition to supporting key policy initiatives, the funding would help support affordable housing construction and preservation, develop low-barrier shelters and navigation centers, increase racial equity in homeownership and more.
“Oregon had a housing crisis before the pandemic dramatically worsened income inequality and wildfires devastated the housing supply in vulnerable communities,” Speaker Kotek said. “The Legislature has worked hard in recent sessions to turn the tide, and this moment demands that we keep pushing forward to make sure more Oregonians have a safe place to call home.”
Last December during its third special session, the Legislature passed House Bill 4401 to ensure renters across the state cannot be evicted through June 30, 2021, if they cannot pay their rent due to impacts of the pandemic. They also established a $150 million fund to assist small landlords cover overdue rent payments, which went live last month. While the leaders are encouraged to see
the additional investments in rent relief in the latest federal package Congress passed, there is still a need to invest state dollars to address the housing crisis.
“This is the most unequal recession we have ever faced,” said Senator Jama, the chair of the Senate Committee on Housing and Development. “We must stay focused on helping tenants who have lost their income through no fault of their own and help keep people housed.”
In addition to expanding programs that have been working, the leaders are also committed to streamlining land use processes that impede the development of affordable housing, doing more to help lower-income Oregonians and people of color own and repair their homes, and make sure our current systems of support are functioning fairly and effectively.
“It’s critical that we build on the legislature’s past work to address Oregon’s housing crisis and keep people stably housed during the pandemic,” said Representative Fahey, the chair of the House Committee on Housing. “There continues to be an enormous need for legislative action, and we’re committed to meeting that need.”
The full list of housing policy and budget priorities is attached.
2021 OREGON LEGISLATIVE SESSION HOUSING PRIORITIES
Emergency Shelter Expedited Siting (HB 2006) Shelter Support and Navigation Centers (HB 2004) $47 million
Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams (HB 2417) Grants for Mobile Crisis Intervention $10 million
Protecting Survival Activities in Public Space (HB 3115) Permanent Supportive Housing Construction $50 million
Homeless Services System Modernization (HB 2100) Permanent Supportive Housing Rental Assistance $15 million
COVID Recovery Protection (SB 282) Maximize federal dollars for rent assistance and eviction prevention
Individual Assessments in Rent Applications (SB 291) Youth Aging Out of Foster Care Pilot (HB 2163) $ 5 million
Foreclosure Moratorium Extension (HB 2009) Down Payment Assistance $30 million
Manufactured Home Park Tenants’ Opportunity to Purchase (HB 2364) MHPs Owner Support and Acquisition Loans $15 million
Racial Disparities in Home Ownership (SB 79) Grants to Address Racial Disparities $ 2 million
Healthy Homes Program (HB 2842) Healthy Homes Program Grants $20 million
Lot Division for Middle Housing Ownership (SB 458) LIFT Affordable Homeownership Construction $ 20 million
Affordable Housing Siting (SB 8) LIFT Affordable Rental Housing Construction $230 million
Affordable Housing on Church-Owned Property (HB 2008) Affordable Housing Preservation $ 50 million
Agricultural Worker Housing Support (HB 2096) Agricultural Workforce Housing Tax Credit Increase $ 10 million
Review of System Development Charges (HB 3040) Affordable Housing Land Acquisition Loan Fund $ 20 million
WEALTH BUILDING IDA Program Changes (SB 82) $ 7 million
FAIR HOUSING Fair Housing Enforcement $ 4 million
TOTAL NEW INVESTMENT: $535 million
(General Fund and Bonding)
March 8, 2021 – for more information, contact Danny Moran, [email protected]