The 2019 Housing Opportunity Agenda
In 2019, the Oregon Housing Alliance will be asking the Legislature to prevent and end homelessness, to protect people who rent their homes from unfair evictions and rent spikes, to invest in building more affordable rental housing and homeownership, to preserve our existing housing, and to help people with low incomes stay in their homes.
We’ll be inviting advocates and people impacted by our housing crisis to join us for Housing Opportunity Day on March 14, 2019. Stay tuned for details or email Reyna with questions.
In 2019, the Housing Alliance priorities for Legislative action are (view our list of endorsements):
- Prevent and End Homelessness: Across Oregon, we have an effective statewide system to distribute emergency rent assistance, rapid re-housing resources, and emergency shelter support through the Emergency Housing Account (EHA) and the State Homelessness Assistance Program (SHAP). Significant resources are needed to meet the needs of people experiencing housing instability. The Legislature should commit $50 million in on-going funding to support these two critical programs.
- Provide stability for Oregonians who rent their homes: Today, people who rent their homes across Oregon can be evicted without a reason with as little as thirty days notice, or can receive an unlimited rent increase. We all deserve the safety and stability of a home, without fear of eviction for no reason or a rent increase that will displace us from our communities. People who rent their homes may often either experience no cause evictions after asking for repairs or asserting their rights, or fear speaking up because of no cause evictions. The Legislature should limit no cause evictions, and provide statewide rent stabilization to prevent displacement.
- Increasing our supply of safe, stable, and affordable housing across Oregon: Additional resources to develop regulated affordable housing are needed, including rental and homeownership opportunities. Since 2015, developers have successfully utilized general obligation bonds to build affordable housing through the Local Innovation and Fast Track, or LIFT Housing program. In 2019, the Legislature should commit $200 million in general obligation bonds for this program, with up to 20% of those resources for homeownership.
- Property Tax Exemption Sunset Renewal: Many Oregon communities use local option property tax exemptions to help build affordable housing. Property tax exemptions are enabled by state statute, which local jurisdictions may adopt. In 2019, the Legislature should renew two local option property tax exemption statutes, and extend the sunset on the current general charitable exemption.
- Preserve existing affordable housing: Across Oregon, we need to maintain our supply of existing affordable housing, and reinvestment is needed to maintain safe, stable, and affordable homes. In 2019, advocates will be asking the Legislature to expand what is eligible for these funds to include all regulated, multifamily affordable housing, as well as public housing and manufactured home parks. The Legislature should commit $100 million in Lottery Bonds to meet needs to maintain existing affordable housing across Oregon.
- Foreclosure Counseling: Foreclosure continues to impact Oregon communities. Across Oregon, organizations provide counseling to homeowners facing foreclosure to help them successfully navigate the Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance program, and find an agreement with their lender. The Legislature should commit $1.24 million to provide counseling to homeowners facing foreclosure during 2019-21.
- Home Ownership Assistance Program definitions: In 2018, the Legislature passed HB 4007, which increased the document recording fee, and allowed the Home Ownership Assistance Program to serve people up to 100% of Area Median Income. In that process, the definitions related to income were made unclear. The Legislature should pass this technical fix bill to clarify the statute to ensure proper implementation of this law into the future.
In addition, the Housing Alliance has endorsed or is supporting a number of concepts being brought forward by Oregon Housing and Community Services, our state housing finance agency, as well as advocates, members, and Legislators. Read our list of endorsed items.
The Oregon Housing Alliance is convened by the nonprofit Neighborhood Partnerships