2016 Housing Opportunity Support Agenda

We’ re asking the Legislature to take action in 2016 to ensure housing opportunity through a variety of policies

Housing opportunity depends on a range of solutions to help Oregonians make ends meet. Policies and programs addressing the needs of Oregonians, including families, people with disabilities, workers with low wages, and people experiencing homelessness, will strengthen our communities by ensuring we and our neighbors can afford housing and other necessities.

Download the Housing Alliance Support Agenda

Support Agenda

Document recording fee and capital gains tax exemption:

  • Increase the document recording fee by $10, to be dedicated for affordable housing. (HB 4043)
  • Provide for a capital gains tax exemption when market rate buildings are sold to housing authorities or nonprofit community development corporations. (HB 4043)

General Assistance:

  • Restore General Assistance services. Eligible individuals will be those determined by the Department of Human Services to be experiencing a disability and homelessness. DHS will contact these individuals, offering housing and financial assistance, and help them apply for federal Social Security disability benefits. (HB 4042)

Strengthen the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC):

  • Require the Department of Revenue to promote the use of the EITC among groups currently under-utilizing the credit and to produce a report on EITC utilization. The EITC is one of the most successful anti-poverty programs. Increasing participation would strengthen housing stability for working families throughout Oregon. (HB 4144)
  • Increase the size of the EITC for families with young children to help families afford basics like housing and childcare, providing children with life-long benefits. (HB 4110)

Increasing the minimum wage:

  • Oregon’s workers need a boost in the minimum wage to help make ends meet, including the ability to afford the biggest item in a household budget—housing. We support negotiations to increase the minimum wage

Funding 211info:

  • Provide additional resources to 211info, which provides referrals to housing and homeless services, and other essential services such as food and energy assistance to help Oregonians achieve and maintain housing stability – We support the funding requests in the budget bill

Other Housing and Housing-Related Bills to Watch

  • Establishment of a pilot program for local governments to site and develop affordable housing (HB 4079, chief sponsor Rep. Duane Stark)

- Pilot project for two cities to expand their urban growth boundary up to 50 acres to allow for mixed-income housing development. More information on this bill is available here.

  • Affordable Housing Mortgage Loan Fund (HB 4064, co-chief sponsors Representatives Brad Witt, David Gomberg, and Gene Whisnat)

- Establish the infrastructure for a revolving fund managed at the state level that leverages mortgages affordable to very low-income Oregonians so affordable homeownership developers can serve more families.

  • Directs the Land Conservation and Development Commission to encourage local governments to dedicate land for affordable housing (SB 1575, chief sponsor Sen. Chris Edwards).

- Authorizes the Land Conservation and Development Commission to establish an expedited process to amend urban growth boundaries for land dedicated to affordable housing.

- Allows Metro to conduct a subregional analysis for consideration for urban growth boundary expansion.

- Creates an income tax credit to incentivize the development of affordable housing

 - Allows inclusionary zoning, with up to 10 percent of units set aside as affordable, in development

- Allow local governments to pass a construction excise tax of up to $0.50 per square foot, on residential, commercial, and industrial construction. The proceeds would be transferred to the state and spent on affordable housing.

  • HB 4143 (chief sponsor Rep. Chris Gorsek) also extends notice for no-cause evictions and rent increases of more than 5%

The Oregon Housing Alliance is convened by the nonprofit Neighborhood Partnerships