2018 Legislative Session: A Call to Action for Homeownership in Oregon
In communities throughout our state, skyrocketing home prices mean that qualified buyers are priced out of the opportunity to purchase their first home—adding pressure to a rental market bursting at the seams. The need to provide meaningful options to help stabilize at-risk homeowners has never been greater. Our communities become stronger and more vibrant as we unite to meet our neighbors’ basic needs for a stable, affordable place to call home. Here are Habitat for Humanity’s 2018 Legislative Priorities:
- HB 4007: Increasing the real estate document recording fee to $75 will generate sustainable funding for homeownership assistance programs, emergency shelter and affordable rental housing. HB 4007 will also create the new First Time Home Buyers Savings Program, incentivizing moderate income Oregonians to save for a first-time home purchase.
- HJR 201: This ballot referral proposes amending the Oregon Constitution to allow municipalities to use certain bonds to finance affordable housing.
Both of these programs ensure significant financial support for much-needed affordable housing programs during a time of Federal funding uncertainty.
We are excited that Governor Brown is personally addressing the shortage of qualified subcontractors working to build and repair homes, especially in rural Oregon Communities.
- HB 4144: Support and grow the base of Oregon’s subcontractors, especially in rural communities. This initiative will help Habitat for Humanity to attract and retain qualified business partners, engaged in the important work of building and repairing workforce housing.
Habitat for Humanity of Oregon also supports the following initiatives aimed at heightening awareness of affordable housing needs and opportunities statewide:
- HB 4006: The Housing and Community Services Department will annually provide to each city and county data showing the percentage of residents in the city or county who are severely rent burdened.
- HB 4010: Establish a Task Force on Addressing Racial Disparities in Home Ownership.
These initiatives are low-cost opportunities to enhance awareness of how market forces are impacting our friends and neighbors throughout the state. Gaining a full understanding of the barriers we’re currently facing will help to inform strategic decisions to help stabilize Oregon households and communities.
We invite you to support this multifaceted approach that enables hardworking Oregon residents to turn their aspirations for a stable home into opportunities to thrive. Providing Oregonians with the strength and independence they need to create a better life for themselves and their families is a key part of the solution for addressing Oregon’s affordable housing crisis.
Letters of support for HB 4007
1) The letter should be addressed to:
House Committee on Human Services and Housing Oregon State Legislature
900 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
Via email: email@example.com
2) Address the letter to:
Chair Keny Guyer, Vice-Chair Olson, Vice-Chair Sanchez, and Members of the Committee
3) First, introduce yourself and your organization. What does your organization do? Who do you serve? What is your role? Where do you work (i.e., what geographical area do you serve)?
4) Tell the Committee why housing opportunity is important to you and your organization. Consider using one of our values based messages (here: https://www.oregonhousingalliance.org/talking-about-home/)
5) Ask the Committee to support HB 4007, which will increase the document recording fee. As a reminder, the document recording fee is a fee charged when you record the documents on a home purchase or change to the title, or other real estate documents. Currently the fee is $20, and it goes to three purposes:
- 10% goes to emergency rent assistance;
- 14% goes to help folks access homeownership – right now, it’s used for down payment assistance and education and counseling;
- 76% goes to build more affordable homes.
- Within each of these accounts, 25% is set aside to serve veterans.
6) If you’ve received money from the document recording fee, share that with the Committee. What did you do with it? What change were you able to create in your community? How did rent assistance help? How many people received home repairs or down payment assistance? How many units were created?
7) If we were able to increase the fee (we’re asking to increase it to $75), what would your organization be able to do with additional resources? Dream big!
8) Close with a reminder about why housing opportunity matters to your organization, and thank the Committee for their attention.