Legislative Session Update

There are less than two months left in the Legislative Session, and we continue to make progress on items on the Housing Opportunity Agenda! There is still a lot to do, however, and we need your continued support.

Foreclosure Mediation Bill (SB 558) Support Letters

SB 558A, the foreclosure mediation bill to continue building a system to provide homeowners with essential information, counseling, legal support, mediation services, and direct financial relief, will have a work session in the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Government Efficiency on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.  We expect the bill to make it out of committee and be scheduled for a House Floor vote soon after. To ensure this, we need a strong showing of letters of support and written testimony. The bill will ensure an effective foreclosure mediation program for more Oregonians in need.

Please take a minute to email the legislators in your service areas to show your support of SB 558A. You may find talking points here. Please contact Alison or Omar if you would like more information. 


We have more updates on our legislative priorities:

  • HB 2639, which provides tenants with Housing Choice Vouchers the opportunity to be screened like all other tenants, will have a public hearing in the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development on May 14, 2013.
  • The Housing Alliance bill that proposes an increase to the real estate document recording fee by $5 to address a range of housing needs for Veterans (HB 2417) had a public hearing in the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development on April 22, 2013.  We are eagerly awaiting news that the bill will be scheduled for a work session.
  • Our request for $20 million in Lottery Backed Bonds for preservation of existing federally subsidized housing is under consideration by the Capital Construction Subcommittee of Ways and Means. We continue to show the pipeline of need for these resources and to tell the story of the impact of preservation.
  • We continue to make the case for additional resources for EHA and SHAP. These items will be heard and decided during the budget process.

The Housing Alliance-supported bills are also making their way through the legislative process:

  • HB 2316, which would ensure that eligible participants with modest retirement savings are not turned away from the Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) Initiative due to current limits, will have a public hearing and possible work session in the Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue on May 13, 2013.
  • HB 2446 and HB 2447, which extend sunsets in 2014 on the tax incentive for sales of parks to residents, CDCs, or housing authorities and on the tax credit for residents displaced by park closure, had a public hearing in the Joint Committee on Tax Credits on April 18, 2013.
  • The bill to extend the Agricultural Workforce Housing Tax Credit (HB 2980), a key tool for housing development, also had a public hearing in the Joint Committee on Tax Credits on April 18, 2013.
  • Efforts to protect Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and to add funds to the Oregon Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Fund and the Oregon Hunger Response Fund continue. These items will be determined through the budget process.

We’ve reached the point in the session where some of our proposals will not be moving forward, unfortunately. There are two in particular which we were supporting which we don’t believe will move further:

  • HB 2890: This bill would have simply repealed the ban on inclusionary zoning. It was heard in the House Human Services & Housing Committee but rather than sending it to the floor, it was decided to send this bill to a workgroup in the interim.  This was a disappointing outcome for us all, but we are looking forward to the workgroup in the interim.  The Speaker of the House has made a commitment to convene this workgroup.
  • HB 3007: This bill would require owners of manufactured home parks to offer tenants, alone or in cooperation with a nonprofit organization or housing authority, the opportunity to purchase before they offer to sell to a third party. It was also heard in the House Human Services and Housing Committee and it was also decided that a workgroup would convene in the interim.  We are hopeful this will result in a better bill for both residents and park owners in the 2014 Legislative session.