April 10 Housing Policy Update

CCCSB4CW4AA8B4JBuild for the Future: $100 million for housing

The legislature has an opportunity to make a terrain shifting investment: $100,000,000 into the development of new housing opportunities for families living on very low incomes, especially those who may be at risk of homelessness.

Margaret Van Vliet, Director of Housing and Community Services, presented the package to members of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development. She noted that this investment will help build more affordable apartments, spark innovation in affordable housing financing models, leverage local resources, and provide opportunity for alignment with other state resources and alternative construction models.

If you haven’t already, send a message to your legislators (a template can be found here) and members of key committees stating your support for the $100 million investment in homes. 

Attend and testify at a Ways and Means Roadshow

Speak face-to-face with members of the Ways and Means committee. Speaking up at these “Roadshows” will remind committee members that the legislature has an opportunity to make a terrain shifting investment: $100,000,000 into the development of new housing opportunities.

Let us know if you can attend and would like to testify. Find more details on our blog.

Family Housing Stability Bills Pass the House

HB 3082, which would allow local jurisdictions to exempt nonprofit housing from property taxes when incomes of existing residents rise above the current 60% Area Median Income (AMI) cap, passed the House with overwhelming support. This option would provide stability for families with low incomes whose income rises slightly during their tenancy. It provides them a smooth transition rather than a “cliff” as they work toward homeownership or private market housing.

HB 2629 seeks to mediate the impact that the loss of deep rental subsidy in properties built with the support of Rural Development will have on our communities. HB 2629 will help prevent homelessness by ensuring that tenants in properties which will lose their deep rental subsidy when the owner makes the final payment on the mortgage have enough – one full year – notice of that impending change.

Both bills are now in the Senate and have been referred to the Human Services and Early Childhood Committee.

Other Support Agenda Items Moving Through the Legislature

The bill to lift the ban on inclusionary zoning, HB 2564, had a work session in the House Human Services and Housing Committee on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. It passed out of committee with amendments that provide conditions if a local jurisdiction chooses to adapt inclusionary zoning policies. These include: not requiring more than 30 percent of housing units within residential development be sold at below-market rates and offering developers one or more listed investments.

HB 2011, which extends the Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) tax credit sunset and expands the eligible uses of an IDA, had a work session in the House Higher Education, Innovation, and Workforce Development Committee on April 3rd. SB 50 and SB 51, which also extend the sunset, had a work session in the Senate Committee on Human Services and Early Childhood on April 9th. Both bills are now in the Joint Committee on Tax Credits. Advocates will be in the capitol on April 28th for Assets Opportunity Day—sign up here.

Both chambers have passed HB 2610! The bill provides a technical fix to the statute providing property tax exemptions for agricultural workforce housing. This fix will benefit the residents of housing owned by nonprofit developers, which is located in and near agricultural communities.

HB 3524 is the re-working of HB 2620 and HB 2881. The bill helps expand access to land for housing in areas of opportunity by requiring state agencies to grant right of first refusal to developers of affordable housing when selling or disposing of land.

HB 2690, which clarifies statutes to enable nonprofit homeownership developers serving households earning up to 80% of the area median income to hold this property tax-free, had a public hearing on March 18th. There are amendments in the works to address some concerns and we expect it will be posted for a work session soon.