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2020 Legislative Session

Top Priorities

SB 1532: Healthy Homes Pilot Program

Habitat for Humanity of Oregon is leading this effort. This bill seeks a $4 million pilot investment to fund much-needed Healthy Home Repairs. Similar to the bill filed in 2019, half will go out by formula with weatherization dollars to community action agencies. Habitat and other repair providers will apply competitively for the remaining $2 million to support Healthy Home repairs.

This bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Housing and Development Committee on Feb. 4. Special thanks to Benton Habitat for Humanity volunteer Bob Burton for joining Jimmy Jones from Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, Miranda Mishan from NAYA and Habitat for Humanity of Oregon Executive Director Shannon Vilhauer to provide testimony during the hearing and work session. This bill is currently in Joint Ways & Means. Habitat Oregon is working with our lobby team and endorsers to try to shake this bill out of committee for funding. We will likely reduce the overall funding request in the next few days, to try to get this pilot initiative to pass in the short session. More information

 

Oregon IDA Initiative

Neighborhood Partnerships and the Housing Alliance are leading this effort. The Oregon IDA Initiative is currently funded through a state tax credit. Because of changes in federal tax law and code, the Oregon IDA Initiative is facing significant budget cuts. The Legislature took action in 2019, but it wasn’t enough, and now the Initiative is facing 40% funding cuts. This means Oregonians won’t be able to enter the program. IDAs are too valuable to our communities to let this happen. We need to invest in the long-term financial stability of Oregonians with lower incomes. Our friends at Neighborhood Partnerships are seeking immediate action and support:

  • Email Legislative Leadership and members of Ways and Means to ask for their support of IDAs! We are working to preserve funding for the IDA this legislative session; however, we need as many supporters as possible to contact Leadership and members of the Ways and Means Committee Capital Construction Subcommittee to ensure they understand the impact IDAs have in their community. Using our new online tool, 11 pre-drafted emails will appear and it will only take a moment to email these key legislators to ask them for their support. We would also encourage you to personalize these emails by adding a sentence or two about your connection or the impacts IDAs have in your community. You can easily edit the email template by clicking the pre-drafted message, simply make sure to include it in each of the 11 drafted messages within the online tool.
  • Share and post on social media or in your upcoming newsletter! See templates or share one of our NP posts on Facebook.
  • Questions? Please call or email Janet Byrd (jbyrd@neighborhoodpartnerships.org or 503-226-3001, ext 103) or Carlos David Garcia (cgarcia@neighborhoodpartnerships.org or call 503-226-3001, ext 109).
  • More information

 

Support Items

HB 4003: Addressing Racial Disparities in Homeownership Workgroup Package

On Feb. 17, this bill moved out of House Human Services & Housing and to Joint Ways & Means by prior referral. Oregon Housing and Community Services has recommended the following funding levels for the latest version of this bill:

  • $2 million for additional down payment assistance
  • $2 million for outreach and technical assistance to ensure communities of color have access to homeownership resources
  • $2 million for Individual Development Account savers working towards homeownership
  • $5 million for the construction of new affordable homes

 

HB 4039: EMO’s 3 Strategies to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness

Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon has asked Habitat for Humanity of Oregon to support their $3.15 million request to curtail youth homelessness. This initiative continues to make steady process, and has a work session scheduled for Monday, Feb. 24 in the Joint Ways & Means Subcommittee on Human Services. More information

 

HB 4070: Craft3 Septic Loan Program

Craft3 is seeking interim funding from the legislature to underwrite their septic replacement loan program that operates three tiers to assist homeowners in different income ranges. This program operates statewide. This bill moved unanimously out of the Senate Water committee on Feb. 7 and is in a holding pattern in Joint Ways & Means. More information

 

To learn about other affordable housing priorities this legislative session, please visit the Housing Alliance website for regular updates.

Reflections on the 2019 Legislative Session

The 2019 legislative session ended amid a media whirlwind. Like so many advocates, we were thrilled when a quorum returned to the capitol on June 29-30 to wrap up critical business.

 

The list of affordable housing wins and ground-breaking legislation passed this session is wonderfully long. Here are a few highlights:

  • SB 608 – Renters’ Protections
  • HB 2001 – The Speaker’s bill promoting “Missing Middle” development
  • HB 5005 – $150 million allocation for LIFT
  • HB 2164 – Includes EITC increase and renewal, plus important Oregon IDA program tax credit formula adjustment

 

All of us at Habitat for Humanity of Oregon tremendously appreciated the outstanding affiliate turnout for our Cost of Home kickoff event on the Capitol steps. Special thanks to North Willamette Habitat and Habitat of the Mid-Willamette Valley for helping with the event logistics. You literally made this event possible. The Cost of Home kickoff event is one of many instances where affiliate leaders stepped up to directly support our most-aggressive legislative agenda to date. Once again, thank you to so many of you who joined us for Habitat at the Capitol, who contacted your legislators with specific requests to support bills and who helped to garner unprecedented earned media.

 

The 2019 legislative session is also the first time Habitat for Humanity of Oregon contracted with a lobby team. Elise and Peter Brown of ebi Public Affairs ensured that we had daily representation at the Capitol. We have truly appreciated their joyful, professional and tireless support.

 

As well as immediate legislative victories, our cumulative efforts this session have strengthened Habitat for Humanity’s relationships with both legislative leaders and other affordable housing advocates. Thank you! It is an honor to serve in the capitol as a face of Habitat for Humanity’s wonderful work across the state.

 

2019 Legislative Priorities

  • Renters’ Protections (SB 608): Passed.
  • Addressing the Missing Middle (HB 2001): Passed.
  • Receivership Technical Fix (HB 2285): Passed.
  • New LIFT Allocation (HB 5005): $150 million allocation for LIFT. This amount is up from $80 million last biennium.
  • Increase the EITC (Now HB 2164): 1% increase to Oregon’s EITC — from 8% to 9% of the federal credit for all eligible households, with an extra boost to 12% for households with children under age 3.
  • Increase Oregon IDA (Now HB 2164): Tax credit formula adjustment will help to keep the program viable in the context of newly passed federal corporate tax laws. This program is fully funded through 2020 and advocates anticipate returning during the short session to renew and increase the tax credit.
  • Healthy Homes (HB 2802): This bill was not passed or funded.
  • Oregon MID Reform: This bill was not passed. The MID coalition’s lead agency, Oregon Center for Public Policy, recently received an advocacy grant from Meyer Memorial Trust that will help to fund polling on this key initiative.

2019 Legislative Priorities

 

Habitat at the Capitol photo gallery »

 

1. New LIFT Allocation (HB 5005): In today’s (June 25) Joint Ways and Means Committee, the group approved a new $150 million allocation for LIFT. This amount is up from $80 million last biennium. HB 5005 will soon go for a House vote. Final passage is dependent upon a Senate quorum.

2. Increase the EITC (Now HB 2164): HB 2164 includes renewal of Oregon’s EITC and a 1% increase. This represents an increase from 8% to 9% of the federal credit for all eligible households, with an extra boost to 12% for households with children under age 3. HB 2164 was approved on the House floor by a wide margin and now awaits a Senate vote.

 

3. Increase Oregon IDA (Now HB 2164): The most recent version of HB 2164, the Tax Expenditures package passed by the House, includes an important tax credit formula adjustment that will help to keep the program viable in the context of newly passed federal corporate tax laws. This program is fully funded through 2020 and advocates anticipate returning during the short session to renew and increase the tax credit.

 

4. Healthy Homes (HB 2802): This bill has not advanced and will not receive funding this session. Our Healthy Homes coalition with Community Action Agencies has attracted broader interest and is working to identify future legislative champions.

 

5. Oregon MID Reform: This bill will not move in 2019. The MID coalition’s lead agency, Oregon Center for Public Policy, recently received an advocacy grant from Meyer Memorial Trust that will help to fund polling on this key initiative.

 

6. Addressing the Missing Middle (HB 2001): This bill passed the House now awaits a Senate vote, pending quorum.

 

7. Renters’ Protections (SB 608): Passed.

 

8. Receivership Technical Fix (HB 2285): Passed.

Vote YES for Affordable Housing

At Habitat for Humanity of Oregon, we believe that everyone deserves a decent place to live. Today, our neighbors and friends can work full-time, earn an average wage, and still not afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment in most communities across Oregon. We know we can help more Oregonians have a safe and stable place to call home.

 

This November, Oregon voters will be asked to approve Measure 102, a statewide constitutional amendment to help local communities build affordable housing.

 

The amendment would lift the current ban on the ability of local governments to work with nonprofits and local businesses to build affordable housing with bonds. This small change means local housing bond dollars can go farther, helping communities address the need for homes that people can afford. Habitat for Humanity is among a growing coalition of organizations, businesses, elected officials and community members who are taking a stand to support affordable housing.

 

The Oregon Legislature voted almost unanimously to refer this constitutional amendment to voters. The amendment is a sensible, bipartisan solution to help local communities create more affordable housing for families, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities throughout Oregon.

 

Join us in supporting #HomesWeNeed by voting YES on Measure 102 on Nov. 6.

 

Link: Yes for Affordable Housing

Housing Stability Council approves $1.82 million in LIFT for Homeownership applications for Habitat projects

On Friday, Sept. 7, the Housing Stability Council approved Oregon Housing and Community Services staff’s recommendation to fully fund all five Habitat for Humanity applications for LIFT for Homeownership. Benton Habitat for Humanity, Newberg Habitat for Humanity, Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity, Sisters Habitat for Humanity and Tillamook County Habitat for Humanity will leverage this investment to help build 28 new homes.

 

The five affiliates were approved alongside four additional organizations (Kor Community Land Trust, NeighborWorks Umpqua, Proud Ground and Willamette Neighborhood Housing & NEDCO) that will build a total of 84 homes across the state.

 

The Local Innovation and Fast Track (LIFT) Housing Program’s objective is to build new affordable housing for low income households, especially families. In 2015, the Oregon Legislature committed $40 million of general obligation Article XI-Q bonds to fund the LIFT program. Using this new funding source will allow Oregon Housing and Community Services and its partners to add to the supply of affordable housing, in particular, for historically underserved communities. In 2017, the Oregon Legislature committed $80 million of general obligation Article XI-Q bonds to fund the LIFT program in 2018 and 2019.

 

The primary goals of the LIFT program are: 1. Create a large number of new affordable housing units to serve low income Oregonian families. 2. Serve historically underserved communities, including rural communities and communities of color.

 

To learn more about the program, click here to see the framework.

 

The next opportunity apply for LIFT for Homeownership will be in November of 2018. Please contact Grant & Loan Manager Andrew Cook today if you are interested in submitting an application. OHCS will have $10.42 million available for LIFT for Homeownership, with $6.11 million for closing the minority homeownership gap and $4.31 million for rural applications.