Oregon Governor Tina Kotek’s housing agenda is one step closer to becoming law



(The Center Square) – Both chambers of the legislature passed Senate Bill 1537 and 1530 this week with bipartisan support.

Along with House Bill 4134, the measures will provide $376 million in funding to boost housing production across the state.

“Oregonians are struggling under the pressure of an increasingly unaffordable housing market,” Governor Kotek said in a statement. “After hearing this concern directly from Oregonians from across our state last year, I knew we had to make major progress on our housing crisis during this year’s legislative session. I want to thank legislators for meeting the urgency of this moment and providing much-needed funding that will boost housing production throughout the state.”

“These bills offer a menu of tools that will provide the support needed to ease our housing crisis and help all our communities thrive,” she added. “I believe this package will make meaningful progress in fixing our housing shortage while also preserving our land use system and ensuring strong environmental protections. But this is not the finish line. We have more work ahead to solve our housing and homelessness crises – and I will keep pushing for more because the need is so great. Oregonians are counting on us to deliver.”

Upon taking office, Kotek set out a statewide housing production goal of 36,000 new units of housing annually — an increase over the roughly 22,000 it currently builds, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

One provision of the housing package offers $75 million via a revolving loan fund to help cities increase their affordable housing offerings. It will provide municipalities with interest-free loans to make these projects possible.

Additionally, the package offers $131 million for efforts to combat homelessness, like buying hotels and converting them into emergency housing. It also provides $123.5 million to help counties acquire the necessary land to bolster housing production and $24.5 million to support warming and cooling shelters.

The governor will likely sign these bills into law this week.

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