Oregon Governor Signs $200M Housing And Homelessness Package Into Law
Salem, Ore. — On Wednesday, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek signed into law a bipartisan housing and homelessness package worth $200 million in a bill signing ceremony in Salem. The package includes House Bills 2001 and 5019, which will provide $30 million in immediate funding for eviction prevention, rent assistance, and state staffing costs. The remaining funding will become available on July 1, the start of the next fiscal year.
The package will be used to bolster rent assistance, expand shelters, protect homeless youth, catalyze housing development, and make several policy changes to address the affordable housing crisis. These policy changes include giving tenants more time to pay overdue rent and holding local jurisdictions accountable for producing more housing.
In a statement, Kotek said, “The resources in this package will help prevent homelessness for more Oregonians, supply more transitional shelter capacity, rehouse individuals experiencing homelessness, innovate in housing construction so we can support more production, and better serve specific populations with their shelter needs.”
The bills passed through the state legislature last week with bipartisan support. This rapid and lopsided passage represents a significant victory for Kotek, a Portland Democrat who has made housing her signature issue during her record-setting nine years as speaker of the House.
The emergency funding will be on top of any funding that makes its way into the general housing and homelessness budget for the coming two years. Service providers view the emergency funding as a down payment that will allow them to quickly scale up their work while they wait for typical state funding.
“This is just the beginning,” Kotek said. “My recommended budget expands on the investments in this early session package – and I will continue to urge legislative action to deliver the ongoing support our communities need to make real progress.”