2021 Housing Alliance Endorsements

In addition to our priority agenda, the Housing Alliance supported a number of proposals from members, advocates, and Legislators. These proposals create resources and programs to help people access stable housing, develop more affordable housing, stabilize families in their homes, and address homelessness. In 2021, the Housing Alliance has endorsed the following proposals:

Prevent and End Homelessness:

Increase permanent supportive housing across Oregon (SB 5505, HB 5024): Permanent supportive housing is key to ending homelessness for people who experience health conditions or addictions disorders. The Legislature should commit $50 million in General Obligation Bonds to develop new supportive housing across Oregon, and commit resources for ongoing rent assistance and services. Result: SB 5505 included $410 million for both LIFT and Permanent Supportive Housing. HB 5006 included $1.6 million for rent assistance and services for projects funded in 2021-23, and HB 5011 included $12.2 million for rent assistance and services for projects funded in 2019-21.

Reduce barriers to shelter siting and funding for shelters (HB 2006HB 5042):  Locating shelters for people experiencing homelessness in our communities is difficult due to neighborhood and NIMBY opposition, and can take years. HB 2006 temporarily removes barriers to siting shelters, requiring local governments to approve applications for emergency shelter (with some sideboards) until July 1, 2022. Result: HB 2006 passed! Funding for shelters and navigation centers was also included in HB 5042 and HB 5006, which both passed. 

Prevent and end homelessness for youth (HB 2163, HB 2544): Oregon has one of the highest rates of youth homelessness, including youth in the K-12 system, youth exiting the foster care system, and unaccompanied youth. The Legislature should appropriate $4.2 million shelter and supportive services for runaway and unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness through HB 2544. The Legislature should create a long term rent assistance pilot for youth experiencing homelessness, and appropriate $4.5 million through HB 2163. Result: HB 2544 passed and included $3.6 million for youth experiencing homelessness. HB 2163 passed and included $4.5 million for three long term rent assistance pilots across Oregon.

Reduce criminalization of people experiencing homelessness (HB 3115): The Legislature should pass HB 3115 to reduce the criminalization for people experiencing homelessness. HB 3115 would require cities to stop enforcement of illegal camping bans, and clarify where people experiencing homelessness can safely sleep. Result: Passed!

Expand crisis alternative options (HB 2417): Eugene currently operates a successful crisis alternative to police and law enforcement for homelessness and mental health issues. HB 2417 would appropriate $10 million to support the expansion of this model across Oregon. Result: HB 2417 was amended to begin Oregon's work to implement 9-8-8, the new federal mental health crisis line, a parallel to 9-1-1. The bill does include $10 million to establish and maintain mobile crisis intervention teams.

Expand access to information and referral: 211Info provides information and referral services. The Legislature should commit $3.8 million to maintain expanded hours, and maintain staff in local communities. Result: HB 5043 included $3 million for 211Info.

Protect Oregon Renters
Support people exiting the criminal justice system to access rental housing (SB 291): The Legislature should pass SB 291 and ensure that everyone can access rental housing. SB 291 asks landlords to conduct individualized assessments for people with criminal histories. Result: Passed!

Create a universal rental application (HB 2427): The Legislature should pass HB 2427 to create a universal rental application, and reduce barriers for rental housing by allowing tenants to provide their own screening report. Result: This bill did not move forward in this session, but we expect a work group in the interim.

Increase our supply of safe, stable, and affordable housing
Access to surplus lands (HB 2918): Today, affordable housing developers experience barriers in identifying appropriate land near transit, schools, and jobs that is available and affordable to purchase. Cities, counties, transit districts and other agencies often own land that is considered surplus. HB 2918 would require local jurisdictions to report surplus lands and to create a database. Result: Passed!

Expand the Agricultural Workforce Housing Tax Credit (HB 2096/HB 2433): The Agricultural Workforce Housing Tax Credit builds affordable housing for agricultural workers and their families. HB 2096 would expand the credit to $16.75 million. Result: The expansion of the Agricultural Workforce Housing Tax Credit was included in the omnibus tax credit bill, HB 2433!

Maintain existing affordable housing
Incentivize preserving existing affordable housing (HB 3364): Across Oregon, we have homes built with federal dollars that are nearing the end of their use restrictions, and are at risk of conversion to market rate housing. HB 3364 would create a tax credit to incentivize the preservation of regulated affordable housing. Result: This bill did not move forward this session.

Protect existing homeowners and help to create new homeowners across Oregon
Addressing missing middle housing through zoning (SB 458): In 2019, the Legislature passed landmark legislation by allowing duplexes, triplexes, quads, and cottage clusters in cities of a certain size will increase housing options for changing needs in communities. SB 458 would allow an automatic lot division to ensure all homes can be purchased. Result: Passed!

Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to ITIN Filers (HB 2819): Today, tax payers who pay their taxes using an individual tax identification number are ineligible for the state or federal Earned Income Tax Credit. HB 2819 would expand the State EITC to include ITIN filers. Result: The expansion of the Earned income Tax Credit to ITIN filers was included in the omnibus tax credit bill, HB 2433!

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Pilot Program (HB 3335): The demonstration project funded through HB 3335 will build ADUs to support financial stability for homeowners and create an affordable rental home to preventing displacement. $1 million will build 15 new small homes, ten in urban areas and five in rural areas. Result: Passed!

Home Ownership Limited Tax Exemption (HB 2456): The Home Ownership Limited Tax Exemption (HOLTE) is a local option property tax exemption authorized by the Legislature for owner-occupied single unit housing for purchase. This proposal is a technical fix to address problems with implementation, and would amend statute to allow a city to grant a case-by-case extension by up to 24 months for construction. Result: Passed!

Expanding the Definition of Veterans (HB 2094): Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) operates several programs which are designed to serve veterans. However, the existing definition of ‘veteran’ is not inclusive, and excludes many who need assistance and served in the military. HB 2094 would allow OHCS to convene a Rules Advisory Committee to define “veteran” for OHCS programs in rule, rather than statute. Result: Passed!

Healthy Homes (HB 2842): Homeowners with low incomes need assistance to maintain their homes safety. This proposal includes $20 million to provide basic health and safety repairs, either in combination with federal and state weatherization programs or through non-profit organizations or housing authorities. Result: HB 2842 passed with $10 million included.

Manufactured Home Replacement (HB 3218, HB 5011): Thousands of Oregonians live in manufactured homes that were built before stricter laws were implemented for health, safety, design, and materials. Replacing homes for people with low and moderate incomes will improve health outcomes and reduce energy costs. HB 3218 would make technical changes to the program to allow wildfire survivors to access funds. HB 5011 would increase funding for this important program. Result: HB 3218 passed, and HB 5011 included $2.5 million for manufactured home replacements.

Support permanently affordable homeownership through property tax exemptions (HB 3275): Homeowners with low incomes who own homes through a shared equity model should be exempt from a portion of property taxes to make their homes more affordable, and reflect the role of the non-profit land trust. Result: Passed!

Addressing Racial Disparities in Homeownership (HB 2007): The Legislature created a Task Force to Address Racial Disparities in Homeownership. HB 2007 includes: grants and technical assistance to organizations to increase access to homeownership for communities of color, including education and training; updated language to the definition of people of color; additional resources to the Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) Initiative specifically to support access by people saving for homeownership; training for real estate professionals on implicit bias; and a continuation of the Task Force for an additional year. Result: This bill passed with anti-bias training and an extension of the Task Force included.

Support tenant opportunity to purchase (HB 2364): Residents of manufactured home communities should have the opportunity to make an offer and purchase their community. HB 2364 would improve existing laws related to opportunity to purchase. Result: Passed!

The Oregon Housing Alliance is convened by the nonprofit Neighborhood Partnerships