SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) applauds Gov. Tina Kotek who today signed bipartisan legislation addressing the state’s housing and homelessness crisis into law.
“As Oregonians, we are bound by our shared values that all people have access to basic, fundamental needs to which affordable housing is fundamental,” said OHCS Director Andrea Bell. “This legislation marks forward progress in the direction of sustained effort to improve the quality of lives of the people of Oregon.
“The way forward requires all of us and investments at the scale needed to tackle the affordable housing crisis.
"Our economies and our communities are stronger when all people have access to their basic needs to which housing is fundamental. We are grateful to Gov. Kotek for relentlessly working toward meaningful change and the Oregon Legislature for recognizing the criticality that investing in affordable housing is investing in family stability, children’s success, racial justice and the economic health of our entire state.”
HB 2001 includes a suite of policy changes intended to address Oregon’s housing needs. Some of those impact OHCS directly; some do not. Policies that would affect OHCS and the work the agency does include:
Dedicating Emergency Housing Account (EHA) funds, one of OHCS’ core homeless services programs, to providing services and assistance to school-aged children or their families who are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing, homelessness.
Changing Oregon’s eviction timelines and statutes, which do not affect state programs directly but impact OHCS’ and our partners’ ability to reach Oregonians at risk of becoming homeless and provide support to keep them stably housed.
Creating a loan/grant program to support manufacturers of modular housing, prioritizing benefits to Oregonians who lost housing due to disasters, live on low incomes, or live on moderate income (in that order).
Codifying the Oregon Housing Needs Analysis, which shifts Oregon’s land use program in a way that empowers cities to take actions that meaningfully increase housing production, affordability, and choice.
As a companion to those policy changes, House Bill 5019, the Affordable Housing and Emergency Homelessness Response Package includes key housing investments that OHCS will distribute to create housing solutions. This includes $155 million to support Oregon children and families at risk of and facing homelessness. The urgent need for funding was proposed by the Governor in response to the homelessness state of emergency that she declared on her first full day of office