REDMOND, OR -- State Representative Jack Zika (R-Redmond) held his first town hall over the weekend. At Redmond City Hall on Saturday, the freshman lawmaker talked about affordable housing, "My proudest moment so far is Housing Bill 2336, and that is the Affordable Housing bill." HB 2336 was signed by Governor Brown in April. It allows Redmond to join Bend in a state pilot program designed to increase affordable housing inventory by fast-tracking parts of the land-use process.
"Too many Central Oregon families are desperate to find housing they can afford, and the legislature's number one priority should be addressing the crisis of unaffordability," Zika said at Saturday's town hall. He's concerned future generations won't be able to afford to live here, "They're going to go to school, they're going to come back, and they're going to one, not be able to find a good paying job; or two, afford a house to live here. So, that was very troubling to me, so that was my number-one mission."
At the event, Redmond City Manager Keith Witcosky talked about Skyline Village, made possible by HB 2336. It's a 485-unit subdivision planned for the eastern edge of the city, "[It's] A mix of quality development, mixed income, mixed use. So, this will be the goal: it's to create a new standard on the east side of town."
Zika also talked about his bill designed to help veterans stay in their homes. HB 2530 requires banks to inform vets of nonprofit assistance if they get behind in their mortgage. "We wanted to try to target, how do we find people before they become homeless?" That bill passed the House and is now with the Senate.
Redmond Mayor George Endicott and County Commissioner Tony DeBone also spoke Saturday, taking questions on housing, transportation and infrastructure.