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Oregon moves closer to solving housing crisis with $500 million investment package

Oregon – Senate Bill 1537, which was recently approved by the Oregon Senate, represents a big step forward in the fight against the escalating housing and homelessness crisis in the state of Oregon. This bill, strongly advocated by Governor Tina Kotek, proposes a strategic $500 million investment to ramp up housing production, marking a pivotal step towards alleviating the state’s dire housing situation.

A Comprehensive Approach to Housing

Senate Bill 1537 introduces several key measures aimed at improving housing availability and affordability. Central to the bill is the establishment of the Housing Accountability and Production Office, designed to enhance housing production and ensure local governments and developers adhere to state housing laws.

Furthermore, the bill offers cities a unique, one-time opportunity to expand their urban growth boundaries for housing, contingent on property owner approval. This provision is geared towards facilitating the development of additional housing units to meet the growing demand.

Perhaps most notably, SB 1537 requires that 30% of new housing units be designated as affordable housing. This is one of the strongest requirements in the country, significantly surpassing the 10–20% affordable housing requirements common in other states. Governor Kotek’s office has highlighted this aspect of the bill as a critical measure for addressing affordability and accessibility in the housing market.

As SB 1537 advances to the Oregon House for further consideration and potential amendments, its passage represents a hopeful advancement in the state’s efforts to tackle its housing crisis head-on. With the proposed $500 million investment and the introduction of robust housing production and affordability measures, Oregon is taking a comprehensive approach to ensure its residents have access to safe, affordable housing.

Orion Hargrove


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