SALEM, OR -- The first of four affordable housing bills under consideration this short session, has passed the state House. Representative Knute Buehler (R-Bend) sponsored the bill, which prohibits rent increases within the first year of a month-to-month agreement, and requires 90-days notice after that.
Rep. Buehler said on the House floor, "This is a good bill. I think it will give some security to families who need it. But, I think we need to keep on chipping away at this issue, more correctly diagnosing what's causing the problem, then coming up with some innovative solutions in the future."
He says Oregon's affordable housing problem comes from 30 years of stagnant wages. And, he says, "We're driving up the cost of housing. The three main drivers of the cost increase are such things as complex regulations, land use planning difficulties and long time-frames, in terms of getting permit processing across the goal-line and actually getting a project started."
Other bills before lawmakers include expanding Urban Growth Boundaries specifically for affordable housing, and ending inclusionary zoning, which requires a portion of new housing developments be held at below-market rates.