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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 17 May 2023

SALEM, Ore. - On Tuesday, the Oregon House passed House Bill 2761, which expands Oregon Housing and Community Services’ (OHCS) ability to fund affordable housing units within mixed-income or mixed-use housing developments.

The bill addresses Oregon’s housing unit shortage and increases affordable housing options so that more Oregonians have access to stable and affordable housing in the community of their choice.

“Oregonians deserve safe and affordable housing, but right now, too many families are struggling to afford their basic needs, including rent” said Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland), chief sponsor of the bill.

“By breaking down unnecessary hurdles, we can make that happen.”

Currently, OHCS is restricted from investing resources for affordable housing where more than 30% of homes in a development are available to households earning over 120% area median income, even if the agency funds are not used to develop market rate apartments within the building. The bill comes in response to reports last year that an affordable housing unit project ran into these barriers. 

Recent estimates have shown that Oregon is more than 140,000 housing units short of what is needed. This shortage is driving up housing costs, pricing families out of their homes and exacerbating the homelessness crisis.

In March, the Legislature passed the Affordable Housing & Emergency Homelessness Response Package, an unprecedented, bipartisan investment that helps shelter Oregonians living on the street, prevents more homelessness, and ramps up affordable housing production across the state. 

House Bill 2761 passed 45-12 and now heads to the Senate for consideration. 

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