Housing Innovation Partnership Legislation Moves Forward

All three of the Oregon iSector’s Housing Innovation Partnership’s pieces of legislation have been sent to the Joint Committee On Ways and Means by the House Committee On Housing and Homelessness. The Housing Innovation Partnership is chaired by Representative Pam Marsh and Megan Loeb. This newsletter outlines the bills and the budgets that embody new innovations in how Oregon can address its massive housing deficit. Among other things, they deal with never before made investments in workforce housing and local government capacity to address housing production.

HB 2980 – Revolving Loan Fund

HB 2981 – Housing Production

HB 3174 – Capacity Building


House Bill 2980 – Revolving Loan Fund

HB 2980 establishes a state revolving loan fund to fill housing financing gaps. Local jurisdictions access the fund to boost development of needed housing in their communities. Eligible housing can be rental or homeownership, multi-family or single family. The goal of this fund is housing production that could not otherwise be produced without the incentive. Local jurisdictions control project selection and borrow from the fund to make grants to local developments. These grants fill critical project funding gaps. The jurisdictions then pledge the amount of revenue from a fee based on the improvements to repay the loan over 10 years. After loans are repaid, full property taxes are retained by local jurisdictions. To accommodate technical challenges of our property tax system, this program will use a 10-year tax abatement on the improvements and add an equivalent fee that will repay the loan.

Budget: $300 million

Units Produced: 12,000 (plus ongoing from reinvestment)

Target Populations: 60 – 120% AMI

Subsidy per Unit: $15,000 – $35,000 (est.)

Project Control: Local Jurisdictions with State support

Eligible Housing: Single and multi-family; rental or ownership

Fire Districts: Fully funded

Fund Leverage: $4.5 billion* in other funding

*Assumes $400,000/unit cost and $25,000/unit subsidy averages. 

House Bill 2981 – Housing Production

HB 2001, Governor Kotek’s 90-day bill, has absorbed a portion of HB 2981 relating to modular housing factory funding. In-state production of off-site construction of housing and panels can provide multiple benefits, including acceleration of housing supply, consistent production, and disaster response capability. 

Housing production can be spurred through the development of innovative financing models serving those with incomes that do not allow them to access public assistance but who need housing the market is not able to provide at affordable prices. Workforce housing (serving the 60-120% AMI range) is not recognized as a critical housing type in Oregon and is not currently supported through any public incentives. The creation of an Infrastructure Grant and Loan Fund, Oregon Land Fund, and Construction Loan Guarantee Fund are proposed.

1. Infrastructure Grant/Loan Fund (IGF) for public improvements associated with new middle-income housing developments. Such an IGF would allow public and private developers to develop sites that require costly public street and utility improvements. Budget; $20 million.

2. An Oregon Land Fund (OLF) would provide the early capital for acquisition and predevelopment of sites for workforce-income housing developments. Budget; $20 million.

3. Access to construction financing is a challenge for workforce housing developments. A Workforce Housing Construction Guarantee Fund (WHCG), jointly pursued by developers and local jurisdictions, would incentivize private capital to support these projects at beneficial borrowing costs. Budget; $20 million.


House Bill 3174 – Local Capacity Building

Increasing the capacity and ability of local governments to carry out community development and housing construction activities is essential to increasing the state’s overall production of needed housing. The following legislative solutions are proposed to build sustainable funding capacity and accountability for local governments to process permits and make modifications to plans and ordinances that will result in housing production.

Technical Experts: The Office of Economic Analysis estimates that approximately 450 on-the-ground technical experts in the areas of land use planning, community development, construction inspections, and infrastructure will be needed. This legislation would add that capacity over time. Budget; $45 million.

Housing Coordinators: Provide each of Oregon’s 12 regions with sustainable funding to recruit and hire a housing coordinator who will, at a systems level, partner and consult with local governments, developers, financiers, and other interested partners to bridge any information gaps; identify and secure needed resources; and enable local governments to develop needed housing. Budget; $3.6 million.

Education Programs: Create a statewide education program designed to explain Oregon’s unique land use system, as well as the causes of Oregon’s housing crisis and the potential solutions to overcoming it. This will require specialized education, the provision of which is not readily available to local government officials across Oregon. Budget; $500,000.

State Liaisons: Provide the Association of Oregon Counties and League of Oregon Cities each with sustainable funding to recruit and hire their own State Housing Liaison. The two State Liaisons will serve as a conduit between their respective local government members, housing coordinators, the housing production team, state agencies, the governor’s office, and the legislature. Budget; $600,000.

Accountability & Outcomes: To ensure that process costs are tracked for the purpose of identifying opportunities and informing efforts for cost reduction and production time acceleration, a report shall be prepared on an annual basis, detailing staff time required to complete housing permits, conditional use permits, building inspections, needed comprehensive plan revisions, needed zoning ordinance changes, and time taken to process appeals of local decisions. Budget; $100,000.  

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