Legislative Session Update

The Legislative session is now nearly half over, and we continue to make amazing progress on all of the items on the Housing Opportunity Agenda! There is still a lot to do, and we need your help! We have an update for you on all the items on the agenda.

Budget Hearings

The co-chairs of the Joint Ways and Means Committee announced that the committee would hold six public hearings across the state to consider comments on the state budget. Though the hearings in Eugene and Ashland have been held already, there are still four meetings at which you can remind the legislators that there are critical needs for assistance in our communities and that they should not rely on additional cuts to safety net services to balance the budget. Check here for sample talking points and more details about the hearings. 


We have a few updates on our legislative priorities:

  • Our proposed bill to continue building a system to provide homeowners with essential information, counseling, legal support, mediation services, and direct financial relief (SB 558) was voted out of the Senate Committee on General Government, Consumer, and Small Business Protection hearing on Friday, April 5, 2013. It is scheduled for a Senate floor vote tomorrow, Tuesday, April 16, 2013.
  • HB 2639, which provides tenants with Housing Choice Vouchers the opportunity to be screened like all other tenants was the passed out of the House Human Services & Housing Committee and onto Ways and Means with 6-3 vote on Friday, April 12, 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), was voted out of the House Committee on Human Services and Housing Committee and referred to Ways and Means on Friday, March 15, 2013. It was assigned to the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development and should receive a hearing in the coming two weeks.
  • We continue to make the case for additional resources for EHA and SHAP, and for lottery backed bonds to preserve existing affordable housing. These items will be heard and decided during the budget process.

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

  • The proposal to repeal the preemption on inclusionary zoning and allow communities to choose whether or not to have an inclusionary zoning policy, HB 2890, will have a work session in the House Human Services and Housing Committee this afternoon, April, 15, 2013.
  • HB 3007, which would require owners of residential facilities 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, is scheduled for a work session on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 in the House Human Services and Housing Committee.
  • 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, was passed in the House of Representatives on April 9, 2013.  It now moves to the Senate.
  • A proposed improvement to the Senior & Disabled Property Tax Deferral Program, HB 2489, was signed into law by the Governor on April 5, 2013. The bill will grandfather about 1,500 low-income seniors and disabled residents into the program after the 2011 Legislature set stricter qualification criteria, including barring homeowners with reverse mortgages.  Advocates are continuing to work to include additional people in the program.
  • The City of Portland’s property tax exemption bill, HB 2349, had a public hearing in the House Committee on Revenue on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
  • The bill to extend the Agricultural Workforce Housing Tax Credit (HB 2980), a key tool for housing development was voted out of the House Human Services & Housing Committee on April 1, 2013. It has been referred to the Joint Committee on Tax Credits.
  • HB 2850, which would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and help create a pathway out of poverty for Oregon families was passed out of the House Human Services and Housing Committee and referred to the House Committee on Revenue on April 1, 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.

Please feel free to contact Alison or Omar with questions at any time.