The 2018 Housing Opportunity Agenda 

In the short, four week 2018 Legislative session, we called on the Legislature to take bold action on housing!

Priority Items
Document Recording Fee (HB 4007)
Preventing and ending homelessness, building and preserving affordable housing, and expanding access to affordable homeownership are all key purposes of the document recording fee. The document recording fee is stable, ongoing revenue that provides critical and flexible funds to housing opporunity. Ten percent is directed to preventing homelessness, 14% to promote homeownership, and 76% to multifamily affordable housing development. Within each of these priorities, one out of every four dollars serves veterans experiencing housing instability. HB 4007 increases the fee to $60, raising an additional $60 million per biennium. HB 4007 includes a proposed First Time Home Buyer Savings Account, providing a small tax incentive for people with moderate incomes to save for the purchase of a first home.

SUCCESS! The Legislature increased the document recording fee for affordable housing from $20 to $60, which will raise $90 million a biennium for critical affordable housing needs! 

Constitutional Amendment for Affordable Housing (HJR 201)
Bonds are an incredibly powerful tool to help meet affordable housing needs. The Oregon State Constitution (Article XI Section 9) limits the ability of municipal governments to use bonds to build needed affordable housing. The constitution prohibits lending of credit by local jurisdiction, which means that bonds issued by a local jurisdiction for affordable housing cannot be used with other funding and the housing must be owned and controlled by a local government entity. HJR 201 asks the Legislature to refer to voters a constitutional amendment that would create an exemption for affordable housing. Additional flexibility will ensure more effective use of bonds to address local housing needs.

Success! The Oregon Legislature referred this constitutional amendment to voters in the fall of 2018. 

OAHTC Technical Fix (HB 4028)
The Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit (OAHTC) can be used to purchase and preserve manufactured home parks, to ensure long term affordability for residents. HB 4028 makes a slight change to allow an LLC or an LP controlled by a nonprofit organization to be an eligible purchaser.

Success! The Legislature passed this important technical fix for manufactured home park preservation.

Extension of Property Tax Exemption Sunset (HB 4028)
The sunset for the local option property tax exemption for low income rental housing under ORS 307.515, used by the City of Eugene, is set to expire on January 1, 2020. This bill extends the sunset date by six months, until July 1, 2020. A full 10-year extension will be sought in the 2019 Legislative session.

Success! The Legislature passed this important technical fix for affordable housing.

The Housing Alliance has endorsed the following items:

Address Racial Disparities in Homeownership (HB 4010)
People of color continue to face discrimination as they seek to purchase their first home. This bill creates a task force to study and address racial disparities in homeownership.

Success! This Task Force was created by the Legislature!

Request for Emergency Shelter (HB 5201)
As we work to build more affordable homes, communities across Oregon face a desperate need for emergency shelter. The Governor’s Office has requested $5 million to meet emergency needs. This funding will go to communities across the state to address an unprecedented increase in need for shelter capacity.

Success! This request was funded!

Addressing Severe Rent Burden (HB 4006)
When tenants pay more than half of their income towards rent, it leaves too little money left over for other necessities. Cities with a high percentage of renters with a severe rent burden (over 50% of their income goes to rent) will hold a public meeting, identify potential solutions to the problem, and submit a plan to Oregon Housing and Community Services to consider ways to address the problem. Also included in the bill is resources to support technical assistance grants for local jurisdictions, and funding for a study of the cost drivers of affordable housing.

Success! This bill was passed, and fully funded! 

Funding for 211Info Capacity
211Info provides critical information and referral services. In some communities, they also operate the coordinated entry system for emergency shelter. However, their phone services today are only available during normal business hours; additional funding would allow them to expand to answer the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Outcome: The Legislature did not fund this request.

The Oregon Housing Alliance is convened by the nonprofit Neighborhood Partnerships