SALEM – Oregon lawmakers have approved more than $ 700 million for housing needs that go beyond the emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to preventing evictions and foreclosures, the legislature aimed to increase the supply of lower-cost housing, help people who are permanently homeless, and reduce the housing disparities faced by racial and ethnic minorities.
Lawmakers went far beyond what they did in 2019, banning unjustified evictions of tenants and demanding that cities with 10,000 or more residents – as well as all cities within the metro line Portland – allow duplexes or other multi-family dwellings on land zoned for single family homes.
“We … have gone to great lengths to keep Oregonians housed through a combination of compassionate politics and wise investments,” House of Representatives Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, said in a statement summarizing the housing legislation. “While the work we have done has brought more stability to the people of Oregon, we will need to maintain a crisis mindset going forward as we continue to work to resolve the housing crisis in the region. State.”
The moratorium on evictions ended in June, although the grace period for paying overdue rents due to the pandemic is extended by Senate Bill 282 until February 28. Spurred on by the slow pace of state and federal funds for rent assistance reaching landlords, lawmakers have given tenants a 60-day safe harbor against evictions under SB 278 if they prove they have requested l ‘help.
“Evictions and foreclosures can have a devastating generational impact on families,” said Representative Julie Fahey, a Democrat from Eugene. She worked with Rep. Jack Zika, a Republican from Redmond, to craft both the initial state aid of $ 200 million to landlords and tenants during the December special session – a month before the 2021 session does get to work – and the safe haven provision that was passed in the final days of the session. Federal assistance increased the amount available for rent assistance to approximately $ 500 million.
Lawmakers reinstated a separate moratorium on residential foreclosures in House Bill 2009, which runs through September. Governor Kate Brown can extend it by executive order until December if she gives notice.
Senator Kayse Jama, D-Portland, was new to both the Legislature – he filled the seat vacated by Shemia Fagan when she was elected Secretary of State – and the Senate Housing and Development Committee . He said it was essential for lawmakers to look past the years-long housing crisis and the effects of the pandemic.
According to a December 2019 report, homeownership rates for blacks in Oregon were 32.2%, compared to 65.1% for white households.
“The pandemic has only worsened existing inequalities in our society, and there is so much clear data on housing disparities for communities of color,” Jama said. “This work will continue during the interim and until the 2022 session.”
Below is a list of some of the main housing laws that were passed during the session:
• $ 47 million for increasing the capacity of emergency shelters and navigation centers for the next cold season, including $ 26.5 million for low-barrier emergency shelters in eight cities, 10, $ 5 million for shelters in Salem and $ 9.7 million for the additional shelter motel sites turnkey project. One of them will be in Multnomah County.
• $ 25 million to help communities manage shelters and provide technical assistance.
• $ 20 million for the Behavioral Health Housing Incentive Fund.
• $ 12 million for rent assistance and support services for permanent supportive housing.
• $ 10 million to Multnomah County for the construction of a Behavioral Health Resource Center in downtown Portland.
• $ 3.6 million for providers serving unaccompanied unaccompanied youth (HB 2544).
• $ 1.2 million to improve the statewide data system on homelessness and service outcomes.
• Speed up the establishment of emergency shelters by temporarily giving local governments more flexibility in the establishment of shelters (HB 2006).
• Modernize the statewide homeless housing and support system and ensure access to culturally specific and culturally appropriate organizations (HB 2100).
• Protect homeless Oregon residents from fines or arrests for sleeping or camping on public property when there are no other options (HB 3115).
• $ 5 million for housing assistance for survivors of family violence and sexual assault.
• $ 4.8 million for housing equity enforcement and education at the Oregon Fair Housing Council, the Oregon Department of Justice, and the Office of Labor and Industries of Oregon.
• $ 4.5 million to establish a long-term rent assistance fund for young adults under the age of 25 who have recently become homeless or who have left a foster home or juvenile correctional services. .
• $ 3 million to support community organizations that distribute rent subsidies or educate tenants.
• $ 1 million to the Oregon Law Center for legal assistance to tenants and residents of manufactured home parks.
• Require landlords to conduct individualized assessments and review applicants’ additional evidence before refusing a housing application based on a criminal history (SB 291).
• $ 20 million for down payment assistance, half to a revolving loan fund to help homebuyers with secondary loans and the other half to culturally sensitive community organizations to increase opportunities for home ownership.
• $ 20 million to provide flexible financing for the construction of affordable single-family homes and alternative ownership models such as co-ops.
• $ 10 million to create the Healthy Homes Program to provide grants for the repair and rehabilitation of homes of low-income households and communities disproportionately affected by environmental pollution or other hazards (HB 2842) .
• $ 7 million to support manufactured home park residents with park acquisition loans and home decommissioning grants and replacement loans.
• $ 3 million for foreclosure avoidance advice to homeowners.
• $ 2 million to provide technical assistance and awareness to culturally specific organizations to reduce barriers to homeownership.
• $ 2 million to SquareOne for a pilot equity share ownership project with mini-homes.
• $ 1 million for a community pilot program that develops secondary suites for income-eligible homeowners (HB 3335).
• Protect homeowners from foreclosure during the pandemic (HB 2009).
• Address racial disparities in homeownership by requiring additional training on implicit and racial biases for mortgage providers, authorizing grants and technical assistance to organizations striving to increase lending. homeownership for low-income people and people of color, and renewing the Joint Task Force on Combating Race Disparities in Homeownership to recommend alternative solutions (HB 2007 and SB 79).
• Strengthened ability for Oregon to purchase manufactured home park residents laws (HB 2364).
• $ 410 million for the construction of housing under the accelerated local innovation programs and housing with permanent support services.
• $ 100 million to preserve existing affordable housing.
• $ 30 million for revolving loan funds for the acquisition of affordable housing or land.
• $ 10 million for gap funding for affordable rental housing projects that are co-located with daycares or early learning centers.
• $ 5 million for gap funding for previously approved affordable housing projects that experienced unexpected increases in construction costs during the pandemic.
• $ 4.5 million for grants and technical assistance to local governments to update community planning and development codes.
• $ 1.3 million to study the integration of regional housing needs analysis into state and local planning programs.
• $ 900,000 to study local network development charges and their impact on the cost of residential development at market price (HB 3040).
• Increase the limit of the state agricultural housing tax credit from $ 7.25 million to $ 16.75 million per biennium to increase construction, rehabilitation or acquisition of housing for the main – agricultural work (HB 2433).
• Require local governments to authorize the development of affordable housing projects on land within an urban growth boundary not zoned for residential use (SB 8).
• Reduce red tape for religious organizations to develop their properties for social housing and allow their property tax exemption to be maintained (HB 2008).
• Establish the conditions under which local governments must authorize land divisions for new development of intermediate housing (SB 458).
• Require local governments to submit information to an online inventory of surplus public land (HB 2918).
• Allow counties to allow owners of lots in rural residential areas to build secondary housing (SB 391).
The Oregon Capital Bureau is a collaboration between EO Media Group and Pamplin Media Group.