The Housing Alliance is in the process of setting its 2011 legislative priorities. While the budget picture for both the remainder of this biennium and next biennium is bleak, the continuing recession and high unemployment mean the need for affordable housing and other safety net services remains critical.
In 2011, we’re considering the following priorities:
Maintain Document Recording Fee Resources for Affordable Housing—Use proceeds of the fee to support development, preservation, homeownership, ending and preventing homelessness, and building capacity of non-profit partners.
Increase the Emergency Housing Account—This is our most flexible resource to end and prevent homelessness. This resource has not been increased since it was created, while the need is growing at an alarming pace.
Preserve Existing Affordable Housing—Existing housing with federal rent subsidies are at risk of loss to market rate, as is housing built and owned by non-profit partners statewide. We cannot afford to lose this precious resource.
Maintain current tools to keep affordable housing affordable—among others, we need to re-structure the Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit so that it works in the current financial climate, and maintain state enabling legislation for local property tax abatement programs.
Increase resources to end homelessness through permanent supportive housing construction.
Improve the financial stability and resiliency of Oregon’s minority communities by increasing resources to support minority homeownership.
Continue and expand protections for tenants in foreclosed properties.
Support resident purchases of manufactured home parks.
Support land trusts as an option for affordable home ownership.
The Housing Alliance may also vote to support other proposals that improve the financial well-being of low income Oregonians, who are the residents of affordable housing. Stay tuned this summer and in early fall as we finalize our agenda.