2017 Housing Alliance Support Agenda

In addition to our lead agenda, the Housing Alliance also supports a number of legislative items that would create resources and programs to help people access stable housing, develop more affordable housing, stabilize families in their homes, and address homelessness. The Housing Alliance is in support of:

Meet Emergency Needs through 211info $3 million (SB 5526): This funding would allow 211info to provide 24/7 information and referral services across Oregon, expand and update its database, and reduce wait time. (Led by 211info) Success! $1 million included in the Department of Human Services budget.

Protect people experiencing homelessness through a Right to Rest (HB 2215): People experiencing homelessness are at risk of criminal and civil penalties. HB 2215 prohibits local jurisdictions from arresting, citing, or harassing people experiencing homelessness for engaging in activities necessary for survival (sharing food, sitting, sleeping). (Led by the ACLU of Oregon, Right 2 Survive, Sisters of the Road, and the Western Regional Advocacy Project) Outcome: Did not meet the first chamber deadline.

Facilitate the creation of tiny homes through building code changes, helping to house people experiencing homelessness (HB 2737A): These changes would enable the development of low-cost homes that can be used for people experiencing homelessness. (Led by SquareOne Villages) Success! Signed into law by the Governor.

End food insecurity through the Oregon Hunger Response Fund $4 million (HB 2881, SB 5526): This fund supports food banks statewide. All too often, families are forced to choose between paying rent and buying food. (Led by the Oregon Food Bank) Success! $4.2 million in funding in the Department of Human Services budget.

Continue funding for the General Assistance program (HB 2959, SB 5526) to help people with disabilities become stably housed and meet their basic needs as they apply for Social Security benefits. (Led by Oregon Law Center) Success! Funded in the Department of Human Services budget.

Increase participation in the Earned Income Tax Credit (SB 398A) by requiring employers provide notice to their workers that they may be eligible for this important credit that helps families make ends meet. (Led by Oregon Law Center) Success! Signed into law by the Governor.

Restore and protect the Fairview Trust (SB 5526): The Fairview Trust was developed to create community housing opportunities for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The Trust should be restored. (Led by the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities) Success! Funds in the Trust were not used to cover any budget shortfalls.

Help tenants access housing through the Rental Assurance Fund for Tenants  $2.2 million (HB 2724): Renter education programs are offered throughout the state and educate participants on the rights and responsibilities of tenancy. These funds would restore a mitigation fund that covered a portion of landlords’ expenses for damages caused by a tenant who has completed an education program. (Led by the Community Action Partnership of Oregon) Success! Passed by the House and Senate.

Support the creation of affordable housing:

  • Land acquisition program (HB 2912): The creation of a land acquisition fund allows affordable housing developers purchase and hold land for future development. (Led by the Oregon Housing Authorities) Success! Passed the House and Senate.
  • Create two joint Oregon Housing and Community Services and Department of Land Conservation and Development positions (HB 3373): Strengthen coordination between OHCS and DLCD to provide technical support and tools to local governments to help them meet housing needs. Outcome: Did not pass out of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

Support the operations of agricultural workforce housing (SB 1): Creates the Agricultural Workforce Housing Operations Tax Credit, which incentivizes housing providers to preserve and create new safe, decent housing options for farmworkers by providing a tax credit for eligible operating expenses. (Led by CASA of Oregon) Outcome: Did not move out of the Joint Committee on Tax Credits.

Allow coastal counties to raise revenue for affordable housing (HB 3260): This bill would allow coastal counties, upon voter approval, to implement a tax on short term residential vacation rentals, with the revenue dedicated to develop much-needed affordable housing. Outcome: Did not pass out of the House Committee on Revenue.

New policies to increase the supply of housing (HB 2007A): This bill would change a range of policies to facilitate the creation of new housing inventory, including affordable housing. (Led by 1000 Friends) Outcome: Did not move out of the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Natural Resources. Some of the same concepts were included in SB 1051, which passed out of the House and Senate.

Create new tools for the preservation of existing affordable housing (HB 2002A), including increased notice when properties may no longer be affordable and an opportunity to purchase for local jurisdictions. (Led by NOAH) Success! Passed out of the House and Senate.

Protect existing homeowners

Fund for repair and rehabilitation of existing homes $10 million (HB 2961): This would invest resources for low and moderate-income homeowners to repair and rehabilitate their homes. Learn more(Led by Oregon ON) Outcome: Passed out of the House Committee on Human Services and Housing. It did not pass out of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

Create new homeowners across Oregon:

LIFT funding for homeownership $20 million: Dedicate LIFT general obligation bonds to permanently affordable homeownership to expand opportunity for families across Oregon, and allow households earning up to 80% of the area median income to be eligible for LIFT homeownership units (HB 3175). Learn more(Led by Habitat for Humanity of Oregon) Success! HB 3175 was signed into law by the Governor. A total of $80 million in general obligation bonds were allocated with LIFT program without any specific portion set for homeownership.

Down payment assistance $5 million (HB 3192A): Provide critical down payment assistance of up to $20,000 to more households across Oregon to create new homeowners. Learn more(Led by Oregon ON) Outcome: Passed out of the House Committee on Human Services and Housing. It did not pass out of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

Learn more about the importance of homeownership and related legislative proposals.

Reform the mortgage interest deduction (HB 2006):  Oregon's largest housing expenditure, the mortgage interest deduction, primarily benefits Oregonians with higher incomes. Common-sense adjustments give the state resources to invest in housing opportunity. (Led by the Oregon Opportunity Network and Oregon Center for Public Policy) Outcome: Did not meet the first chamber deadline.

Download our support agenda here.

The Oregon Housing Alliance is convened by the nonprofit Neighborhood Partnerships