Oregon House passes legislation addresing housing crisis

March 3, 2018 — Thursday, the Oregon House of Representatives continued its focus on access to affordable housing with the overwhelming passage of House Bill 4006 and House Bill 4010.

House Bill 4006 requires Oregon communities experiencing the highest levels of rent burden to hold public meetings and start to identify next steps to reduce rent burdens. The bill includes $1.73 million in funding for local jurisdictions around the state to take their next housing planning step — like a housing needs analysis, zoning code update, or a housing plan specific to the needs of the community.

Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) is the Chief Sponsor of the bill. The legislation passed the House unanimously.

“More than one in four renters are paying over half of their household income on rent. We must continue to take crucial steps towards addressing Oregon’s severe housing crisis,” said Speaker Tina Kotek.

House Bill 4010 establishes a Task Force on Addressing Racial Disparities in Home Ownership. The goal is to compile data, identify barriers, investigate mortgage practices, and recommend solutions to close the gap in homeownership rates between communities of color and white families.

The legislation was championed by Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley) and Rep. Mark Meek (D-Oregon City).

“In Multnomah County, just 32 percent of African Americans own homes, as compared to a rate of 45 percent nationally,” said Janelle Bynum. “I’m here in Salem to help remove unnecessary and cumbersome barriers of entry for motivated, hardworking Oregonians.”

“Home ownership is more than just a roof over a family’s head — it also provides families with unique opportunities to build a brighter future for them and their children,” said Rep. Meek. “That opportunity is out of reach for too many communities of color in our state, and this legislation is the first step in expanding home ownership in Oregon.”

House Bill 4010 passed the House 54 to 5, and will be sent to the Senate.

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