Oregon – Senate Bill 1537 aims to inject $200 million into Oregon’s housing infrastructure, targeting the critical home shortage issue plaguing the state. With an urgent need to construct nearly half a million housing units over the next two decades, this legislative move could significantly impact various cities with ready-to-launch projects, potentially accelerating their development timelines.
Accelerating Housing Development Across Oregon
The funding from Senate Bill 1537 is poised to address crucial infrastructure challenges that many cities face, which currently hinder the rapid development of housing projects. Central Point in the Rogue Valley is eyeing more than $1 million from this package to implement a roundabout and traffic signal, essential for completing a housing development ahead of schedule. Matt Samitore, the city’s public works director, highlighted the universal need for essential infrastructure—such as water, sewer, transportation, and stormwater systems—to push potential housing projects over the line.
Similarly, Cave Junction in Josephine County has laid out a $2 million proposal focusing on new streets and water lines to support the development of approximately 60 homes. Klamath Falls is also in the mix, with plans to allocate a few hundred thousand dollars towards sewer systems essential for the construction of numerous planned townhomes.
Jim McCauley, the legislative director at the League of Oregon Cities, shed light on the financial struggles local governments face in securing the necessary infrastructure for new housing. Smaller cities, in particular, find it challenging to distribute the high costs of such projects due to their limited population base. In response to this pressing issue, the League of Oregon Cities has been proactive in gathering hundreds of project ideas from around the state, advocating for increased housing infrastructure funding to make these essential developments a reality.