Three months to go until the 2017 Legislative session

The 2017 Legislative session is now less than three short months away. The Housing Alliance’s 2017 Housing Opportunity Agenda is nearly finalized, and we want to give you an update on our proposals and share the inside story on how we’ve gotten to where we are.

The who, what, and how of Housing Alliance agenda-setting in 2017

Our new workgroup model has resulted in dramatic progress over the last few months and brought forward ideas that seek to meet the full spectrum of housing needs, from homelessness to affordable homeownership. In September and October, workgroups finalized their remaining proposals. A few proposals still remain under discussion, but the majority of workgroups are now switching gears to discuss legislative strategy, building support and champions, and more.

In August, the Housing Alliance took a first big step in overhauling of our decision-making process to make the coalition more effective and inclusive. At the August meeting, we decided on how we’ll make decisions going forward. At our most recent membership meeting, we began discussions about a Steering Committee and communications during session.

The beginning of the 2017 Housing Opportunity Agenda

The votes were unanimous in support of the second set of proposals referred by the workgroups to the general membership! Below is the list of full proposals which comprise the 2017 Housing Opportunity Agenda:

Homelessness, health and housing, and veterans’ housing

  • Prevent and end homelessness with $30 million in funding for the Emergency Housing Account and State Homeless Assistance Program
  • Resources to support 211info to continue building capacity statewide
  • Support the Right to Rest, and stop the criminalization of things people need to do to survive while experiencing homelessness – sitting, sleeping, and eating

Tenant protections

  • Ending arbitrary evictions by creating a just cause eviction standard
  • Allowing local jurisdictions to slow the rate and speed of rent increases through rent stabilization
  • Reinstate the landlord mitigation fund that accompanied the very effective Rent Well program.

Development and land use

  • Raise the cap on the Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit to $34 million and extend the sunset until 2026
  • Generate new resources for affordable housing through an increase to the Document Recording Fee
  • Create a Land Acquisition Fund to help support future development of affordable housing
  • Support the creation of a joint Housing and Community Services and Department of Land Conservation and Development position to help local governments plan for needed housing

Preserving existing affordable housing

  • Preserve existing affordable housing with federal rent subsidies, manufactured home parks, and public housing so that tenants can remain in homes they can afford
  • Allow private, existing owners of multifamily housing to receive a capital gains exemption when they sell to an owner who will maintain affordability


  • Expand access to affordable homeownership through a homeownership development fund and down payment assistance
  • Help homeowners stay in their homes through funding for repair and rehabilitation and access to foreclosure counseling

Mortgage interest deduction

  • Improve the mortgage interest deduction to make it fairer and ensure it benefits people who need assistance, with the goal of increasing homeownership and housing opportunity

What’s next?

Save the dates! Our 2017 Housing Opportunity Days will be Wednesday, March 22, 2017 and Thursday, May 18, 2017. Every session, we host Housing Opportunity Days at the Capitol. These are some of the most important, exciting, and fun days of the session—and we need you to make them a success. On these days, we arrange visits with your legislators, form teams, and send you off into the building to talk about the Housing Opportunity Agenda. This is a great way to get involved during the legislative session and send a clear message that we need bold action on housing now!

Join us!

The Housing Alliance has continued to grow in numbers and in strength. We need you to join the movement for housing opportunity as we pursue a bold 2017 Housing Opportunity Agenda to make real change for Oregonians.  Please contact Alison McIntosh at or Jenny Lee at to learn more about how your organization can join the Housing Alliance.