June East County Issue Forum
Community Housing Update
June 10th, 3:00-4:00 PM
Multnomah County, Liam Frost, Office of Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and Nui Bezaire, Joint Office of Homeless Services
Multnomah County, Taylor Steenblock, Multnomah County Government Relations Office
City of Wood Village, Scott Harden, Mayor, Greg Dirks, City Manager
City of Troutdale, Jamie Kranz, City Councilor and Chris Damgen, Community Development Director
City of Fairview, Sarah Seldon, Senior Planner
City of Gresham, Eric Schmidt, Assistant City Manager and Joe Walsh, Senior Manager for Neighborhood Prosperity and Youth Engagement
The June issue forum was centered on housing, with a presentation from Multnomah County's Joint Office of Homeless Services on the recent investment package in Multnomah County's Fiscal Year 2022 Budget.
Multnomah County's Government Relations team presented an update on housing related bills in the Oregon Legislature. The cities of Fairview, Gresham, Troutdale and Wood Village provided an update on housing related work happening in their city.
Bills covered during the issue forum are below:
Prevent and End Homelessness (HB 5011): Across Oregon, we have a statewide system to distribute emergency rent assistance, rapid re-housing resources, and emergency shelter support through the Emergency Housing Account (EHA) and the State Homelessness Assistance Program (SHAP). Significant resources are needed to meet the needs of people experiencing housing instability. In 2021, the Legislature should commit $50 million to these two programs. (Still in Ways and Means)
Long Term Rental Assistance (HB 3184): In Oregon, three out of four households with extremely low incomes pay half of their income towards rent. Long-term rent assistance is an effective strategy to provide stability. Existing resources are insufficient to meet the need as only one in four households that are eligible for long-term rent assistance receive it. HB 3184 would fund a cost analysis study to assess the cost of providing a long-term rent assistance. (Still in Ways and Means)
Preserve and Maintain existing affordable housing (SB 5534): Across Oregon, we need to maintain our supply of existing affordable housing, and reinvestment is needed to maintain safe, stable, and affordable homes. These funds are needed to help to maintain all regulated, multifamily affordable housing, as well as public housing and manufactured home parks. The Legislature should commit $100 million in Lottery Bonds to meet needs to maintain existing affordable housing across Oregon.
Increasing our supply of safe, stable, and affordable housing across Oregon (SB 5505/SB 5506): Additional resources to develop regulated affordable housing are needed, including rental and homeownership opportunities. Since 2015, developers have successfully utilized general obligation bonds to build affordable housing through the Local Innovation and Fast Track, or LIFT Housing program. In 2021, the Legislature should commit $250 million in Article XI-Q General Obligation bonds to this successful program.
Foreclosure Moratorium & Foreclosure Counseling (HB 2009, HB 3209): As the pandemic continues to impact people's ability to go to work, homeowners are at increased risk of foreclosure and it's devastating impacts. The Legislature should reinstate the foreclosure moratorium (HB 4204, 1st Special Session, 2020)(HB 2009) to protect homeowners from losing their homes in a global pandemic. In addition, organizations provide counseling to homeowners facing foreclosure to help them successfully navigate the Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance program, and find an agreement with their lender. The Legislature should commit $5 million in 2021 through HB 3209 to provide counseling to homeowners at risk of or facing foreclosure. (HB 2009 Passed, HB 32098 Still in Ways and Means)
Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) Initiative (HB 2551): The Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) Initiative is a matched savings program which is one of Oregon’s only tools to help people with low incomes build assets such as a home, a small business, or an education. The Initiative is flexible, and supports the unique approaches of culturally specific, rural and urban partners as they work to build better futures in their communities. The Initiative has been funded through a state tax credit.Increase permanent supportive housing across Oregon (SB 5505, HB 5024): Permanent supportive housing is key to ending homelessness for people who experience health conditions or addictions disorders. The Legislature should commit $50 million in General Obligation Bonds to develop new supportive housing across Oregon, and commit resources for ongoing rent assistance and services.
Prevent and end homelessness for youth (HB 2163, HB 2544): Oregon has one of the highest rates of youth homelessness, including youth in the K-12 system, youth exiting the foster care system, and unaccompanied youth. The Legislature should appropriate $4.2 million shelter and supportive services for runaway and unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness through HB 2544. The Legislature should create a long term rent assistance pilot for youth experiencing homelessness, and appropriate $4.5 million through HB 2163.
Reduce criminalization of people experiencing homelessness (HB 3115): The Legislature should pass HB 3115 to reduce the criminalization for people experiencing homelessness. HB 3115 would require cities to stop enforcement of illegal camping bans, and clarify where people experiencing homelessness can safely sleep.
Expand crisis alternative options (HB 2417): Eugene currently operates a successful crisis alternative to police and law enforcement for homelessness and mental health issues. HB 2417 would appropriate $10 million to support the expansion of this model across Oregon.
Expand access to information and referral: 211Info provides information and referral services. The Legislature should commit $3.8 million to maintain expanded hours, and maintain staff in local communities.
Expand the Agricultural Workforce Housing Tax Credit (HB 2096): The Agricultural Workforce Housing Tax Credit builds affordable housing for agricultural workers and their families. HB 2096 would expand the credit to $24 million.
Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to ITIN Filers (HB 2819): Today, tax payers who pay their taxes using an individual tax identification number are ineligible for the state or federal Earned Income Tax Credit. HB 2819 would expand the State EITC to include ITIN filers.
Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Pilot Program (HB 3335): The demonstration project funded through HB 3335 will build ADUs to support financial stability for homeowners and create an affordable rental home to preventing displacement. $1 million will build 15 new small homes, ten in urban areas and five in rural areas.
Manufactured Home Replacement (HB 3218, HB 5011): Thousands of Oregonians live in manufactured homes that were built before stricter laws were implemented for health, safety, design, and materials. Replacing homes for people with low and moderate incomes will improve health outcomes and reduce energy costs. HB 3218 would make technical changes to the program to allow wildfire survivors to access funds. HB 5011 would increase funding for this important program.
Addressing Racial Disparities in Homeownership (HB 2007): The Legislature created a Task Force to Address Racial Disparities in Homeownership. HB 2007 includes: grants and technical assistance to organizations to increase access to homeownership for communities of color, including education and training; updated language to the definition of people of color; additional resources to the Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) Initiative specifically to support access by people saving for homeownership; training for real estate professionals on implicit bias; and a continuation of the Task Force for an additional year.
Support tenant opportunity to purchase (HB 2364): Residents of manufactured home communities should have the opportunity to make an offer and purchase their community. HB 2364 would improve existing laws related to opportunity to purchase.