Where we are on housing opportunity: May Legislative update

Session has been moving quickly, and nearly all of our lead and support agenda items are on track! The second deadline for bills is approaching, and budget conversations have begun in earnest. We’ve prepared a quick update on where our bills are. You can get more background on all of the Housing Alliance lead agenda and support agenda items on our website.

Resources to meet Oregon’s housing needs

As budget conversations move further along, we are advocating for:

Housing Alliance members submitted written testimony in support and came in person before the Subcommittee on Capital Construction to advocate for bonds to preserve existing affordable housing and the LIFT program.

Housing stability for renters

HB 2004A would protect tenants by limiting no-cause evictions and allowing local governments to implement rent stabilization policies. The bill had a public hearing on May 2 before the Senate Committee on Human Services and is scheduled for a work session on May 31, when the Committee will vote on the bill.

New revenue for housing opportunity

The document recording fee is the only source of dedicated revenue for affordable housing. HB 3357A would increase the fee to $40, helping to fund development of affordable housing, create affordable homeownership opportunities, and provide emergency rent assistance. A public hearing was held before House Revenue on April 26.

Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit

The Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit helps fund development and preservation of affordable housing. The credit expires in 2020. HB 2852A would renew the credit, and increase the cap to $25 million (currently $17 million) to develop and preserve more homes for people with low incomes, as well as provide new tools to capitalize on the value of the tax credit. The bill passed out of House Human Services and Housing and is now in the Joint Committee on Tax Credits. 

Affordable homeownership opportunities

HB 2570A would establish a revolving loan fund that would enable nonprofit developers to create more affordable homes for purchase. The bill has passed out of the House Committee on Human Services and Housing and is now before Ways and Means.

 Housing Alliance support agenda items

  • Funding for 211info, the Oregon Hunger Response Fund, the General Assistance Program, and restoration of the Fairview Trust to provide community housing opportunities for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities are all under consideration in Department of Human Services budget (SB 5526).
  • Building code changes to tiny homes (HB 2737A): Passed out of House Business and Labor; public hearing held before Senate Business and Transportation on May 22.
  • Increase participation in the Earned Income Tax Credit Program (SB 398B): Passed out of the Senate and House Committee on Business and Labor; scheduled for third reading in the House on May 24.
  • Rental Assurance Fund for Tenancy (HB 2724): Passed out of House Human Services and Housing; referred to Ways and Means.
  • Land acquisition program (HB 2912): Passed out of House Human Services and Housing; referred to Ways and Means.
  • Joint Oregon Housing and Community Services and Department of Land Conservation and Development positions (HB 3373): Passed out of House Human Services and Housing and referred to Ways and Means.
  • Agricultural Workforce Housing Operations Tax Credit (SB 1): Passed out of Finance and Revenue; referred to Joint Committee on Tax Credits.
  • New tools for the preservation of existing affordable housing (HB 2002A): Passed out of House Human Services and Housing; referred to Ways and Means.
  • Allow households earning up to 80% of the area median income to be eligible for LIFT homeownership units (HB 3175): Passed both the House and Senate!
  • Down payment assistance (HB 3192): Passed out of House Human Services and Housing and House Revenue; referred to Ways and Means.
  • Fund for repair and rehabilitation of existing homes (HB 2961): Passed out of House Human Services and Housing; referred to Ways and Means.

View our full support agenda here.

Bills no longer moving

HB 2006 (mortgage interest deduction reform) and HB 2215 (Right to Rest Act) did not meet the first chamber deadline.

HB 2879, which would create a capital gains tax exemption for the sale of multifamily housing to nonprofits and housing authorities, had technical issues that resulted in it not moving forward, although we are looking at other legislation that can incorporate the same concept.