Habitat at the Capitol: March 9-11, 2021

February 4, 2021

In early March, housing advocates from across the state met with 33+ Oregon legislators during Habitat for Humanity of Oregon’s annual event, Habitat at the Capitol.

At Habitat for Humanity, we believe that our communities become stronger and more vibrant as we unite to meet our neighbors’ basic needs for a stable, affordable place to call home. Especially at a time when home is everything, we united as advocates to ask Oregon legislators to support policies and programs that help strengthen household resiliency and improve home affordability.

We are thrilled to announce that all five of the following bills passed this session. Overall, Oregon lawmakers passed 13 of Habitat Oregon’s legislative priorities in 2021.

Priority 1: Help stabilize Oregon households during and after COVID-19.

We’re asking Oregon legislators to act today to ensure that Oregonians of all income levels can enjoy the health and economic benefits of a secure place to call home during this critical time.

PASSED! Foreclosure Moratorium Extension (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.

Priority 2: Ensure broader access to safe, decent and affordable homes.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 6 Oregon households were paying half of more of their income on a place to live. It is more important than ever to increase access to affordable homes.

PASSED! Ensuring Homeownership Opportunities in Our Communities (SB 458): Oregon communities of all sizes lack entry-level homeownership opportunities. SB 458 will increase the construction potential of middle housing units and provide more homeownership opportunities by facilitating a straightforward land division process that aligns with the “Missing Middle” housing 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). The bill now heads to Gov. Brown’s desk for a signature. Habitat Oregon’s full statement is posted 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.