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Action Alert – Support Senate Bill 5511 that addresses housing stability 2023-03-02

The following information is provided by Housing Oregon:

Take Action! Submit comments in support of

SB 5511 – OHCS’ 2023-25 budget by Saturday, 1pm

The Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development is holding a public hearing on SB 5511 tomorrow, Thursday, March 2 at 1:00 PM

Submit written testimony no later than Saturday, March 4 at 1:00 pm (48 hours after the beginning of Thursday’s hearing). 

What SB 5511, OHCS’ 2023-25 requested budget, does

The Governor’s Recommended Budget includes over $1.46 billion to address housing stability and community prosperity. Balancing the needs of Oregonians experiencing homelessness with addressing chronic supply shortfalls, the biennial budget represents the largest request any Governor has proposed. This includes:

  • $1.0325 billion for housing production / supply (both multifamily rental and homeownership)
  • $415.45 million for homelessness response and prevention 
  • $17.6 million for homeownership opportunities and keeping homeowners in their homes

For more information

Suggested talking points – Sample testimony letter HERE

  • Note: At this stage of budget advocacy – focus on showing general support for OHCS’ budget. This is a proposed historic increase in funding. There will be plenty of time in the next several months to advocate for specific priorities and tradeoffs.
  • Reiterate SB 5511 will go a long way towards funding OHCS in order to:
    • Reduce unsheltered homelessness this year;
    • Rehouse people experiencing homelessness in the longer term;
    • Build and preserve more housing units statewide; and
    • Increase homeownership.
  • These historic investments will make significant progress towards Governor Kotek’s annual production target to produce 36,000 housing units per year. It took years for Oregon to get into our current housing and homelessness crisis. We’re going to need a sustained multi-year commitment to produce the housing supply we need in the next ten years. This budget proposal is an important step in the right direction.
  • We urge you to support SB 5511 to fund OHCS, which balances the needs of Oregonians experiencing homelessness with addressing chronic housing supply shortfalls. 

Tell them about your organization and projects

  • Describe your organization and which communities you serve. If appropriate, describe a recent project or service utilizing state funding. This budget will ensure ongoing funding for (affordable rental housing, homeownership, and/or homelessness services) for mission driven, community-based nonprofits like ours will help reach our goals.

Housing production / supply

  • The Governor’s recommended budget invests $1.0325 billion in proven supply solutions including OHCS’ Local Innovation Fast Track (LIFT) Rental Program, Permanent Supportive Housing and preservation programs. This proposal builds on more recent innovations we are excited about such as expanding the co-location of early learning and affordable housing developments and establishing a PSH Risk Mitigation Fund to stabilize operating costs and support the longevity of PSH developments. These all align with the Oregon Housing Needs Analysis which makes it clear the state must invest in the production of new homes and preservation of existing stock. 

Homeownership

  • In addition, investments in homeownership are a critical tool to overcome persistent racial disparities in access to homeownership for households of color. The work of the Joint Task Force Addressing Racial Disparities in Homeownership provides important recommendations that align with these budget recommendations to expand the creation of generational wealth for Communities of Color across Oregon.

Homelessness response and prevention

  • The $415.45 million in the budget for homelessness response and prevention aligns with the Early Session package proposed by Governor Kotek. This early package serves as a “down payment” to expedite coordination between state agencies and local communities to launch emergency responses sooner. The Governor’s recommended budget expands on those early investments to rehouse and maintain housing stability for households moving from unsheltered homelessness into stable housing; provides ongoing homelessness prevention support; maintains shelter operations; and creates new permanent supportive housing.

For Info: Contact Brian Hoop, Housing Oregon, brian@housingoregon.org or 503-475-6056