It was a historic year for housing opportunity in Oregon. More Oregonians will have access to housing they can afford in order to be successful in school, at work, and as community members. Here’s how the Housing Alliance legislative agenda shook out after the 2015 Legislature adjourned “sine die.”

Agenda Results

Immediate Resources

  • $9.75 million for the Emergency Housing Account (EHA) and State Homeless Assistance Program (SHAP) from the General Fund. This is in addition to the money that goes into the Emergency Housing Account from the Document Recording Fee. EHA and SHAP are our most flexible resources to end and prevent homelessness. EHA and SHAP keep families in their homes, and help families experiencing homelessness get into stable housing. Bill: SB 5513
  • $2.5 million in Lottery Backed Bonds to preserve currently affordable homes. This will ensure that across the state, thousands of people with extremely low incomes — less than $10,000 a year — can continue to live in homes with federal rent subsidies and in manufactured home parks. Bill: HB 5030
  • Continued funding for the Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance (OFA) Program. We know that foreclosures in our state are still four times the “normal” rate. The OFA Program provides essential information, counseling and legal support to residents going through the process. Bill: SB 5513.

Build for the Future

  • $40 million in General Obligation Bonds to create new homes affordable to families across the state and build a better future across Oregon through the newly created Local Innovation and Fast Track Development Program
  • $20 million in Lottery Backed Bonds to build homes for people with mental illnesses. (A National Alliance for the Mentally Ill proposal)
  • For more details on General Obligation and Lottery Backed Bonds allocations for housing, reference pages 28-29 in the memo on the budget reconciliation bill (5507).

  • HB 2198, which set parameters for the use of the $40 million General Obligation Bonds, did not pass. However, Oregon Housing and Community Services will probably adopt the framework of the bill as the policy to guide use of the bonds.

The Housing Alliance also supported these legislative proposals:

Increase or Retain Housing Opportunities:

  • HB 2629: Provide 1-year notice to residents of impending maturity of mortgages financed through USDA Rural Development program.

Status: Passed House. Passed Senate. Signed by the Governor.

  • HB 2610: Update and technical fix to Farmworker Housing Statutes.

Status: Passed House. Passed Senate. Signed by the Governor.

Expand access to land for housing in areas of opportunity:

  • HB 3524: Requires that state agencies grant right of first refusal to developers of affordable housing when selling or disposing of land.

Status: Passed House. Passed Senate. Signed by the Governor.

  • HB 2564A: Repeal statewide preemption on Inclusionary Zoning, a tool used to ensure affordable homeownership housing is included in up to 30% of a development’s units. Repeal of the preemption will allow communities to choose whether or not to implement an inclusionary zoning policy.

Status: Unsuccessful this legislative session.

Focus on housing as a state policy priority:

  • HB 2442: Support Oregon Housing and Community Services as it re-structures to assume a stronger leadership role in statewide housing conversations and policy.

Status: Passed House. Passed Senate. Signed by the Governor.

Lower Housing Costs through Property Tax Abatements/Exemptions:

  • HB 2126: Extend the Vertical Housing Development Zone sunset.

Status: Passed House. Passed Senate. Signed by the Governor.

Lead: Metro

  • HB 2690: Clarify ORS 307.130 to enable nonprofit homeownership developers serving households earning up to 80% of the area median income to hold this property tax-free.

Status: Passed House. Passed Senate. Signed by the Governor.

Lead: Habitat for Humanity

  • HB 3082: Allow residents of nonprofit owned residences to remain in their homes if incomes rise above 60% of area median income without triggering increased property tax bills unless incomes exceed 80% AMI.

Status: Passed House. Passed Senate. Signed by the Governor.

Lead: Portland Community Reinvestment Initiative

Legislative action to improve financial circumstances of Oregonians with low incomes:

  • HB 2171 -6 (originally HB 2011): We need to renew and expand the tax credit to continue the Oregon IDA Initiative’s investment in families and communities and increase the allowable uses of matched savings.

Status: Tax credit renewed and sunset extended until 2022. State allocated at least $10.7 million a year. All additional savings categories approved.

Lead: Neighborhood Partnerships

  • HB 2194: Create a general assistance pilot project to support single adults and childless couples with very low incomes and significant disabilities as they access federal disability benefits.

Status: Unsuccessful this legislative session.

Lead: Oregon Law Center

  • Invest in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Employment Related Day Care redesign and improvements to help families keep more of their earnings and be more financially resilient.

Status: $29.7 million in reinvestments. Phased exits from TANF with job training for families.

Lead: Oregon Hunger Task Force

  • Invest in 211info to create a cost-effective single point of contact and responsive staffing and scripting for all state agencies.

Status: $1 million over a biennium to provide guidance and information to those in need

Lead: 211info

  • Fund the Oregon Hunger Response Fund to leverage the Oregon Food Bank network and purchase food, transport food across the state, and ensure proper storage.

Status: Adjusted for current service level.  Made permanent one-time funding of $450K from prior session as new base. An additional $400K of one-time funds provided.  Total for 2015-17 biennium is $3.2 million.

Lead: Oregon Food Bank

Download the PDF