HIP Legislative Updates –

The Housing Innovation Partnership (HIP) has three bills in the House Committee on Housing and Homelessness:

The first, HB2980 proposing the creation of a revolving loan fund to support the development of housing serving the 60-120% AMI range was heard early on in the month and received supporting testimony from many interested parties, but faced opposition from the Fire Districts. We have since met with those representing the Special Districts to work through their reservations and come up with a solution to mitigate the impacts they might face under this program.

HB2981 was also heard this month, and underwent some very exciting changes as our modular housing funding piece was absorbed into the Governor’s 60-day priority plan, HB 2001.

Lastly, HB3174 aiming to increase local government capacity is scheduled to be heard by the Committee on March 9th.

Mass Timber Housing Ecosystem Assessment 

As a piece of our planning grant for a Mass Timber Housing Center of Innovation Excellence designation under Business Oregon, a landscape assessment on the mass timber housing industry in Oregon was recently completed. The report dives into the modular and mass timber construction industries, the mass timber modular ecosystem, workforce and entrepreneurship opportunities in this space, and the potential for mass timber modular housing factories. A huge thank you to our partners at the Oregon Mass Timber Coalition, Port of Portland, Trillium Advisors, and EcoNorthwest for making this report happen. Check it out here.

A High School Student Serving the State’s Environmental Justice Council 

The Environmental Justice Council (EJC) stems from a task force established in 2007, championed by then-Senator Avel Gordly. Its purpose is to advise the Governor and 16 state natural resource agencies on environmental justice issues. The passage of HB 4077 last year revamped the task force, establishing its place in the Governor’s office, and requiring youth, rural and coastal representation.

In November, Danny Cage, a senior at Grant High School, was appointed to the council and became the state’s youngest environmental justice commissioner. Please see here an Oregonian article highlighting Danny and his story.

“What I find exciting about the article is that the public policy is being seriously implemented and elevated all these many years later, and that the leadership of a high school student member of the council, Danny Cage, is being featured. I am so proud of Danny. It is clear to me that this work is now generational.”

– Senator Avel Gordly