The first meeting of the AOC Housing Sub-committee occurred on Friday, January 29, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at AOC. The group forwarded recommendations on many housing-related bills to the Community and Economic Development Steering Committee, which in turn forwarded recommendations to the Legislative Committee on February 1. All recommendations were supported.

However, it appears that the Legislature may try to limit the scope of its housing focus during this short session. The Omnibus Housing Bill HB 4001, which all committees decided to watch rather than take a position, appears to be shrinking in scope to tenant notice provisions for rent increases and no cause evictions. The fate of the Inclusionary Zoning Bill, SB 1533, is also in question. And the request for a document recording fee increase to fund housing programs in HB 4043 appears to be dead. SB 1582 is moving forward. This bill directs the Housing and Community Services Department to develop and implement the Local Innovation and Fast Track Housing Program created with the infusion of $40 million last session.

The issues relating to affordable, available and workforce housing will not go away any time soon. The Housing Subcommittee has plans to work well beyond this short legislative session to gather information from all counties and attempt to find solutions to the many housing issues we face. The subcommittee will be meeting on the last Friday of every month at AOC. If you haven’t done so already, please let Mary Stern know if you are interested.

Renewable Energy
The fate of the the AOC/Community Renewable Energy Association (CREA) amendment to HB 4036, the Clean Energy Bill, is still up in the air. AOC and CREA staff continue to work hard to ensure the current goal that 8 percent of renewable energy come from small, community-based projects becomes a requirement, and to ensure that these community-based projects are located in Oregon. It is doubtful that our amendment will make it out of the House, but work continues on the Senate side!

For more information contact Mary Stern, AOC community and economic development policy manager.