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Housing Update From Senator Anderson

It was an interesting week during Legislative Days in Salem. We were able to preview bills coming from Legislators and committees destined for the short session this February. That 35-day session will hopefully stay focused on budget fixes and emergencies as originally intended by the voters. One of those emergencies is housing. The Governor declared an emergency a year ago on housing and she declared it again this year. I think we all know how important housing is, not just for the homeless housing but ALL housing. I am laser focused on housing and childcare for the short session emergency fixes. 

In response to the emergency declaration last year, I was appointed by Governor Kotek to her Housing Production Advisory Committee (HPAC). We spent all last year listening to ideas and ways to increase housing production in Oregon. The reality-we need 36,000 new homes per year for 10 years to just hold water. Last year, we built only 19,000. This is a problem. 

The HPAC group came out with 59 different ideas to increase housing production in Oregon. I agreed with some of them. I do want to be clear about some of the news stories-I DID NOT AND DO NOT SUPPORT THE TAX INCREASE IN THE HPAC REPORT. I hate to use capitals, but it is important to note my strong opposition to these taxes. That is the last thing we need. 

There are some good ideas in the report and to that end,

Representative Vikki Breese Iverson and I wrote a memo to the Governor, Presiding Officers of the Legislature, and members of our housing committees. Rep. Breese Iverson is my counterpart as Vice Chair of the Housing Committee in the House and serves on the HPAC as well. We met with and have had many discussions with builders, developers, Realtors, cities and more to really boil down the key issues stopping new housing from coming out of the ground. We believe the 6 points in our memo will move the needle today on housing. I welcome your feedback and look forward to hearing other ideas that will actually get us on a roll towards a higher level of production.

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