2021 Legislative Priorities

February 10, 2021

Habitat for Humanity of Oregon is supporting a number of bills moving through the Oregon Legislature. You can track legislation in real-time by clicking on the bill numbers below. 

Lead Item

Ensuring Homeownership Opportunities in Our Communities (SB 458): Habitat Oregon and the Oregon Homebuilders Association are co-leading this effort to facilitate a straightforward land division process that aligns with the “Missing Middle” house types allowed through HB 2001 passed in 2019. SB 458A passed out of the Senate Chamber on April 15 on a 25-4 (1 excused) vote. House Housing held a public hearing on May 4.

Additional Priorities

Foreclosure Moratorium (HB 2009): This legislation extends the moratorium on all residential mortgage foreclosures through Sept. 1, 2021, and gives the Governor the ability to extend the moratorium through Dec. 31, if needed. HB 2009A passed out of the House on April 6. Senate Housing and Development held a public hearing on April 15. Senate Housing and Development has scheduled a public hearing and possible work session for May 6.

Eviction Moratorium Extension (SB 282): SB 282 extends the repayment grace period for unpaid rent accrued during the eviction moratorium through February of 2022 and protects tenants’ ability to rent in the future. SB 282A passed out of the Senate on April 14. House Housing held a public hearing on April 27 and a work session on May 4.

Fully fund the Oregon IDA Initiative (HB 2551): HB 2551 reauthorizes the IDA Initiative Tax Credit for the next six years while making several smaller programmatic changes to allow IDA providers to deliver a more equitable and positive saving experience for IDA account holders. HB 2551A passed out of House Human Services on April 5. House Revenue held a public hearing on April 29.

Healthy Homes Program and Repair Fund (HB 2842): This proposal includes $20 million to provide basic health and safety repairs, either in combination with federal and state weatherization programs or through non-profit organizations or housing authorities. HB 2842 passed out of House Housing on April 6 and moves to House Revenue.

LIFT (SB 5505): Habitat Oregon supports the Housing Alliance’s request for $250 million in General Obligation, Article XI-Q bonds to build affordable homes across Oregon through the LIFT program, including 20% for homeownership.

Support permanently affordable homeownership through property tax exemptions (HB 3275): Homeowners with low incomes who own homes through a shared equity model should be exempt from a portion of property taxes to make their homes more affordable, and reflect the role of the non-profit land trust. HB 3275A passed out of House Housing on April 6. House Revenue has scheduled a public hearing for May 6.

SB 79Oregon Housing and Community Services is proposing technical fixes to the statute the department uses to administer Home Ownership Assistance Program (HOAP) funding from the document recording fee that funds the down payment assistance program and the forthcoming “Restore Health and Safety” NOFA. SB 79A passed out of the Senate on April 1 and was referred to House Housing.

Home Ownership Limited Tax Exemption (HB 2456): The Home Ownership Limited Tax Exemption (HOLTE) is a local option property tax exemption authorized by the Legislature for owner-occupied single-unit housing for purchase. This proposal is a technical fix to address problems with implementation and would amend the statute to allow a city to grant a case-by-case extension by up to 24 months for construction.

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. HB 3335A passed out of House Housing on April 6 and moves to Ways and Means.

Mortgage Interest Deduction Reform (SB 852): SB 852 passed out of Senate Housing Development on April 8 and moves to Senate Finance and Revenue.

Addressing Racial Disparities in Homeownership (HB 2007): HB 2007 reconvenes the Joint Task Force for Addressing Racial Disparities in Homeownership. This bill also mandates training designed to help counteract misconceptions and industry practices that have blocked BIPOC homeownership and wealth-building opportunities; and empowers OHCS to pilot activities and direct capacity-building resources to organizations that promote homeownership rates among BIPOC Oregonians. HB 2007A passed out of House Housing on April 8 and moves to Ways and Means.

Land Use Changes for Affordable Housing (SB 8): SB 8 would remove barriers to affordable housing development by changing our land-use laws to allow affordable housing to be built on land currently zoned for commercial land, publicly owned land, and religiously owned land; to create a density bonus for affordable housing; to broaden eligibility for SB 8 (2019) to allow more affordable housing developments to have protection from frivolous appeals when affordable housing developments challenged to LUBA can be awarded attorneys’ fees. SB 8A passed out the Senate Chamber on April 21 and has been referred to House Housing.

2021 Housing Opportunity Agenda: Habitat for Humanity of Oregon is also a member of the Oregon Housing Alliance. In addition to its lead agenda, the Housing Alliance has endorsed several proposals.