The Affordable Housing and Emergency Homelessness Response Package includes $130 million to fund Gov. Tina Kotek’s Homelessness State of Emergency.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Oregon House passed a bipartisan $200 million package on Wednesday to ramp up support for those facing homelessness and eviction and bolster affordable housing production.
The Affordable Housing and Emergency Homelessness Response Package includes several provisions to address the state’s homeless crisis, including $130 million to fund Gov. Tina Kotek’s Homelessness State of Emergency. Officials said the investment would allow the executive branch, local governments and service providers to work together to provide shelter and other resources to unsheltered Oregonians.
The bill includes a $27 million investment to support coastal and 26 rural counties and support for youth facing homelessness. A provision also aims to prevent non-payment evictions that may lead to homelessness by giving more time for renters to access Rental Assistance and extends the eviction timeline from 72 hours to 10 days.
“Too many families are just one paycheck away from being evicted. We’re responding with urgent and coordinated action to keep people housed and give our communities the stability they deserve,” said District 40 Rep. Annessa Hartman in a press release.
Rep. Andrea Valderrama of outer East Portland emphasized the importance of eviction protections to “help families stay housed and communities together.” She added, “These resources will most importantly keep families together, especially Black and Brown families that currently have to uproot their lives and leave their communities over and over just to stay in Oregon.”
The bill would also support Gov. Kotek’s goal of building 36,000 affordable housing units annually, House lawmakers said. With Oregon short by an estimated 140,000 units, House legislators said, “building the housing we need, where it is needed at a price people can afford will be our top priority.”
“Every Oregonian deserves to have access to safe and affordable housing in the community of their choice,” said Rep. Maxine Dexter of Portland. “We have answered this moment of intense need with a swift and collaborative response. I am proud to put forth this package that will deliver relief to every corner of the state.”
The package would invest $20 million to boost affordable modular housing production made with locally sourced materials such as Oregon mass timber. It would additionally boost affordable housing production for middle-income families and improve on-site workforce housing for farmworkers.
The $200 million package now heads to the Oregon Senate for consideration.