What You Need to Know About The $100 Million Affordable Housing Proposal


In a Street Roots article that comes out today, Janet Byrd from Neighborhood Partnerships and the Oregon Housing Alliance set the stage for a new housing proposal:

Oregon Legislators will decide in the weeks ahead whether to create a new source of funding to build Oregon’s future through new homes across Oregon. This historic direct investment in housing – Governor Kate Brown has proposed $100 million – will create up to 4,000 new places to live. As this investment helps communities across Oregon meet their housing needs, it will also create a new, ongoing source of money to meet future housing needs.

In addition to creating homes, this is exciting for a lot of reasons. Historically, affordable homes have been built with federal dollars that come with a lot of strings attached. These strings put limits on the kind of homes we can build. The $100 million is special because it offers a way to pay for these homes (with what are called general obligation and lottery-backed bonds) that frees up builders and developers to be more innovative. This means new possibilities, and the potential to drive down the cost of development.

Understandably, a lot of questions emerge when a proposal this innovative and far-reaching is released. In order to make it easier to understand, the Housing Alliance has put together a primer that covers the why, how and what of the $100 million proposal.

Oregon can’t succeed without homes

  • There is one affordable home for every four households managing extremely low incomes ñ we need 50,000 affordable homes across Oregon.
  • 20,000 children experienced homelessness in 2013-14, putting success at school at risk.
  • Only one in six (5,000) of the 30,000 families receiving temporary assistance have access to affordable housing, making it harder for them to make progress towards goals.
  • Housing costs are rising 3% to 8% year over year, forcing choices between basics like food, utilities, health care or medicine, and child care.

What $100 million will do

Create homes affordable to families, strengthen Oregon’s communities and build a better future across Oregon!

  • Let Oregon communities innovate: State investment will leverage local resources and local ingenuity ñ land, local government resources, private capital, and local community donations ñ and avoid federal restrictions.
  • Meet rural, urban, and suburban community needs for housing with flexible funds.
  • Double our impact. Oregon Housing and Community Services estimates 3,000 to 4,000 new units could be built to affordably house 12,000 to 16,000 people while current resources only reach about 1,300 households a year.
  • Create new construction and related jobs, provide stability to school children and their classrooms, create homes near employment opportunities and support local communities as they work together to address their housing needs.

Oregon Partners Are Ready to Innovate

  • Partners have ideas worth moving forward: Two or more proposed developments are turned away for everyone that receives state support.
  • State resources will support innovative strategies and help us create modern models for affordable housing. We can simplify financial structures and reduce layers of external regulations while maintaining oversight and an ownership share.

What you can do to help

What does building Oregon’s future mean to you? What would change in your life, in your experience, with available and affordable homes? What are you excited to bring to the table to help create housing opportunity?

We will be collecting your answers, and we’re asking all of you to join us in delivering those answers to Legislators in Salem. There will be a hearing on the $100 million bonding proposal on May 8. Shortly after, on May 13, is Housing Opportunity Day.

Send us your hopes and ideas through the form on this page, on Facebook or on Twitter and use the hashtag #Homes4Oregon.

Download the Build Oregon’s Future: $100 million Bond Package.