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

PASSED! 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 458 passed with overwhelming bipartisan support from the Senate (25-4) and the House (54-2), and was signed by Gov. Brown on May 26. Habitat Oregon’s full statement is posted here.

Additional Priorities

PASSED! 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 2009 has passed both chambers. See the Oregon Housing Alliance’s statement here.

PASSED! 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. Gov. Brown signed SB 282 into law on May 19. See Stable Homes for Oregon Families’ statement for more information. Information for tenants is listed here.

PASSED! Fully fund the Oregon IDA Initiative (HB 2433): HB 2433 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. The original bill, HB 2551, was incorporated into the Joint Tax Expenditures omnibus (HB 2433) and was passed by both chambers. The IDA Initiative will also receive $7 million in additional funding from the General Fund through the OHCS budget bill (HB 5011), which also passed both chambers.

PASSED! Healthy Homes Program and Repair Fund (HB 2842): This proposal includes $10 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 has passed both chambers.

PASSED! 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. SB 5505 has passed both chambers.

PASSED! 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 3275 has passed both chambers.

PASSED! 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 79 passed out of both chambers and was signed by the Governor on June 3.

PASSED! 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. HB 2456 has passed both chambers.

PASSED! 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 3335 has passed both chambers.

In committee upon adjournment: Mortgage Interest Deduction Reform (SB 852): SB 852 passed out of Senate Housing Development on April 8. The Senate Finance and Revenue Committee held a public hearing on May 13.

PASSED! 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 2007 has passed both chambers.

PASSED! 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 8B passed out of both chambers and was signed by the Governor on June 23.

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.