The Housing Alliance is gearing up for 2017 Legislative Session

image1Fall is nearly here, and the 2017 Legislative session is just five short months away. The Housing Alliance’s 2017 Housing Opportunity Agenda is taking shape, and we want to give you an update on our proposals and share the inside story on how we’ve gotten to where we are.

The who, what, and how of Housing Alliance agenda-setting in 2017

Our new workgroup model has resulted in dramatic progress over the last few months and brought forward ideas that seek to meet the full spectrum of housing needs, from homelessness to affordable homeownership. This month, the workgroups decided which proposals were ready for a full member vote, and which potential proposals need further discussion. While there’s plenty of work to be done, we’re on track to finalize our agenda by our next meeting on October 28th!

The other big structural change at the Housing Alliance is an overhaul of our decision-making process to make the coalition more effective and inclusive. At the August meeting, we decided on how we’ll make decisions going forward. The workgroups will develop and vote on the proposals. A proposal receiving the support of the two-thirds of the votes cast will move to the full membership. From there, the entire membership will vote, and items receiving the support of two-thirds of the votes cast will be added to the Housing Alliance agenda.

The beginning of the 2017 Housing Opportunity Agenda

The votes were unanimous in support of the first set of proposals referred by the workgroups to the general membership! The workgroups are continuing to work on a number of proposals. The proposals the membership voted to support at the August 29 meeting were:

  • Homelessness, health and housing, and veterans’ housing
    • Prevent and end homelessness with $30 million in funding for the Emergency Housing Account and State Homeless Assistance Program
    • Resources to support 211info to continue building capacity statewide
  • Tenant protections
    • Ending arbitrary evictions by creating a just cause eviction standard
    • Allowing local jurisdictions to slow the rate and speed of rent increases through rent stabilization
  • Development and land use
    • Raise the cap on the Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit to $34 million and extend the sunset until 2026
    • Generate new resources for affordable housing through an increase to the Document Recording Fee
    • Support the creation of a joint Housing and Community Services and Department of Land Conservation and Development position to help local governments plan for needed housing
  • Preserving existing affordable housing
    • Preserve existing affordable housing with federal rent subsidies, manufactured home parks, and public housing so that tenants can remain in homes they can afford
  • Homeownership
    • Expand access to affordable homeownership through a homeownership development fund and down payment assistance
    • Help homeowners stay in their homes through funding for repair and rehabilitation and access to foreclosure counseling
  • Mortgage interest deduction
    • Improve the mortgage interest deduction to make it fairer and ensure it benefits people who need assistance, with the goal of increasing homeownership and housing opportunity

What’s next?

The workgroups will dig back in to policy development during their September meetings and come back to the membership with additional proposals for a vote at the next general member Housing Alliance meeting on October 28.

Join us!
The Housing Alliance has continued to grow in numbers and in strength. We need you to join the movement for housing opportunity as we pursue a bold 2017 Housing Opportunity Agenda to make real change for Oregonians.  Please contact Alison McIntosh at or Jenny Lee at jlee@neighborhoodpartnerships.orgto learn more about how your organization can join the Housing Alliance.