During the 2019 Legislative Session, the Legislature passed SB 5512, the budget bill for Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) for the 2019-21 biennium. This budget made significant new investments in OHCS housing accessibility programs, collectively totaling $336.5 million. New investments include:

$206.5 Million to Increase the Supply of Affordable Housing

  • $150 million for the Local Innovation and Fast Track Housing program, which provides housing to underserved rural communities and communities of color;
  • $25 million for preserving existing affordable housing;
  • $15 million for acquisition of attainable rental market housing;
  • $15 million connected to HB 2896 and SB 586, policy bills that provide additional protections and opportunities for residents of manufactured housing; and
  • $1.5 million to support the Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance program and other home ownership counseling.

$70.5 Million to Address Homelessness

  • $45 million for the Emergency Housing Account and the State Homeless Assistance Program to provide assistance to Oregonians who are homeless or unstably housed, and at risk of becoming homeless;
  • $5 million dedicated to strengthening shelter capacity;
  • $14.5 million of federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds to help families avoid or escape homelessness through partnership with the Department of Human Services; and
  • $6 million for rental market resources so housing insecure families and individuals can access housing. 

$54.5 Million for Permanent Supportive Housing

  • $50 million for construction of 500 new units; and
  • $4.5 million for rental assistance and wraparound social services in the last quarter of biennium, when units start to come online.

$5 million for Greater Oregon Housing Accelerator 

  • $5 million for the program will spur workforce housing development; this resource will strengthened by HB 2056, which will provide $15 million of the housing development guarantees to lessen the risk for housing developers in rural communities. 

For additional information on these new housing investments, find the OHCS brochure here.

Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) was actively involved in various aspects of this agency’s budget and other housing resources, including specific efforts to gain funding for AOC’s priority technical assistance program, HB 2228; permanent supportive housing; workforce housing programs; and securing capital funds to ensure preservation of existing housing stock and creation of new affordable housing.  

County Commissioners have been strongly engaged with OHCS leadership both before and during the 2019 Session. While these efforts largely focused on HB 2228 and the need for housing technical assistance initiative for local government, there was a broad effort among Commissioners to help expand resources for OHCS. Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall sits on the OHCS governing body, the Housing Stability Council, which meets monthly. 

Contributed by: Andy Smith | Legislative Affairs Manager