March 2 Housing Opportunity Update

1. Tick Tock

  • We’re expecting nearly 200 people at Housing Opportunity day on March 11.
  • Most have already registered and we’ve started to reserve the busses.
  • The morning will include some legislative meetings, briefs on the Housing Alliance agenda, practice legislative meetings and will lead into a noon rally where we’re piling 20,000 socks on the capitol steps.
  • The afternoon will include more legislative meetings and other training opportunities.
  • We also think we’ll have a hearing in House Human Services and Housing committee.
  • Registration will end at the end of the week.
Reserve Your Spot for Housing Opportunity Day


2. HCS Budget

  • Monday Feb 23rd and Tuesday the 24th saw the first Ways and Means budget hearings on Housing and Community Services budget.
  • This is the first hearing on the financial resources Oregon needs to address immediate needs like emergency Housing Assistance/State Homeless Assistance Program (EHA/SHAP) and the Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance (OFA) Program.
  • It also includes long-term investments like the $100,000,000 for new housing opportunity. [OHCS one-pager]
  • Attendees to the March 11 Housing Opportunity Day will focus on securing support for these items. (Did we mention we hope to see you there?)
  • There will be more hearings as the session progresses.


3. Good Foreclosure News

  • Friday the 27th the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Capitol Construction met to discuss unbudgeted needs between now and June 30.
  • The bill, also known as the budget re-balance bill, addresses items that didn’t get allocated enough money for this fiscal year.
  • The Subcommittee approved an additional $349,000 for counseling for homeowners facing foreclosure.
  • This is great news, and shows a continuing commitment to meeting the needs of homeowners who are still feeling the impacts of the recession.
  • It goes to full Ways and Means and then to the floor of each chamber. There was no discussion and no opposition. We’re optimistic that it is a pretty sure shot.


4. Inclusionary Zoning

  • HB 2564 repeals ORS 197.309, a law that prevents local governments from using “inclusionary zoning,” or imposing conditions on approved permits for housing development that would influence the design or affordability of that housing. [Housing Alliance One Pager]
  • Across the country, communities use their zoning codes to influence the mix of housing types and to create a range of affordability within a development.
  • By requiring developers to set aside a percentage of units for rental or sale to young families with low incomes, elderly couples wanting to age where they lived their lives, or the workers that keep our economies running, inclusionary zoning policies have the ability to harness the energy of the private market to help create affordable homes, while enabling economic integration and social inclusion.
  • On Monday Feb 23rd a public hearing for HB 2564 was held. [OLIS]
  • Compelling testimony was offered on the need to remove a barrier to communities addressing their housing affordability needs – the pre-emption on inclusionary zoning.
  • We expect a committee vote but don’t yet have a date yet.