The Oregon Senate voted Tuesday night to pass an affordable housing package and $200 million to respond to the homeless emergency.
House Bills 2001 and 5019 passed the House last week. They now go to Governor Tina Kotek for her review.
Republican and Democratic senators called for support for the package in a debate on the Senate floor before the vote. The bills passed 21-7.
The package includes the funds Kotek requested in his early days on the job, as well as millions more to address the growing homelessness crisis and housing shortage.
“Catalyst”:Where did Oregon’s $400 million go for the homeless last year?
What will the Bills do?
Oregon will need to build more than half a million homes over the next two decades to keep up with demand, according to estimates. Oregon Housing Needs Analysis. Cities with a population of more than 10,000 must set building goals for specific income levels and then build them, and can face action from the state Department of Land Conservation for not meeting those building goals.
The Department of Housing and Public Utilities is also required to annually update a statewide affordable housing production dashboard to include information on housing production progress by level of affordability, overall housing goals and an analysis of progress compared to the region, among others. local governments with similar market types.
Investments proposed in the bills include:
- $33.6 million for rental assistance and other eviction prevention services to prevent homelessness for approximately 8,750 households.
- $23.8 million for 600 low-barrier shelter beds statewide and for more housing innovations to connect homeless Oregonians to shelter and services.
- $55.4 million for prepayment rental assistance to rehouse at least 1,200 homeless households, rent at least 600 vacant units, renter guarantees and incentives, and other housing recovery services.
- $5 million for nine sovereign tribes in Oregon to support emergency response.
- 5 million dollars to increase the capacity of cultural organizations.
- $2 million to support local sanitation services.
- $1.8 million to support the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and Housing and Community Services in emergency response.
- $25 million for homeless youth, specifically connecting youth with rental assistance, shelter facilities, outreach, mental health and/or substance abuse services.
- $27 million to address homelessness in 25 rural counties not included in Kotek’s emergency declaration.
- $20 million to produce affordable modular homes.
- $5 million in grants to farmers to improve health and safety conditions in substandard farm worker camps.
- $3 million in revolving loans that builders can use to pay pre-construction costs for affordable homes for Oregonians 80-120% of their area median income.
Republicans want something more “extraordinary.”
“The people of Oregon need us to act. We cannot allow our homelessness and housing crisis to continue,” Sen. Aaron Woods, D-Wilsonville, said on the Senate floor before voting on HB 5019.
There was no further debate on this bill.
Before the vote on HB 2001, the policy portion of the bill, there was little more discussion.
Sen. Daniel Bonham, R-The Dalles, was one of seven votes against the bill. Bonham also voted for HB 2001.
He disagrees with several parts of the bill, he said, but added that the package doesn’t address the underlying problems that limit the state’s growth. It also didn’t address other underlying problems, such as drug addiction, he said.
Other Republicans echoed Bonham’s concerns.
“If we’re going to have a permanent solution, we’re going to have to do something extraordinary,” added Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend.
Knopp said he would vote in favor of the bill, but urged lawmakers to do other things to support more housing development.
“To do something extraordinary, you can’t keep doing what you’ve been doing for the last ten or two or five years,” Knopp said. “We have some time left in the session and it will be important that we come out with decisions that will make a real difference.”
Others supported the plan
Sen. Dick Anderson, R-Lincoln City, co-sponsored HB 2001 and spoke in support of the bill.
“This bill highlights the value of taking a more collaborative approach between the public and private sectors. The state needs more housing of all kinds, and we need it now,” Anderson said.
Anderson encouraged fellow lawmakers to vote in favor of the bill, but added that he hopes additional manufactured housing projects will come through the Legislature with similar support.
Kotek released a statement shortly after the vote in which he praised the legislature for passing the bipartisan bill. “I’m so grateful to the housing providers, developers, landowners, advocates, affected communities and elected leaders on both sides of the aisle who responded to one of Oregon’s strongest calls for help by supporting this response package,” Kotek said in a statement. . “I want to thank House Speaker Dan Rayfield and Senate President Rob Wagner for making sure this package is a priority early in the legislative session.”
Wagner, D-Lake Oswego, also released a statement shortly after the vote to celebrate the passage.
“Faced with a statewide housing and homelessness crisis, we have worked across the aisle and with our partners in the House and Governor to move Oregon toward a future where housing is accessible and affordable for all,” Wagner said in a statement. “.
Both bills now head to the governor’s desk for his pending signature.
Diane Lugo Oregon Legislator and Equity Issues. Reach him [email protected] or on Twitter @DianneLugo.