By Janet Byrd
December prompts both a look back at the year that is almost over and a look ahead at what’s to come. As I look back, I am so pleased by all of the change that has been made here in Oregon thanks to our collective hard work and dedication to making life better for Oregonians with low incomes, for those who rent their homes, and for those aspiring to a more secure financial future.
I am so grateful for all of you – staff at NP, Board members, staff and leadership of our hundreds of partner organizations, legislative champions and allies, financial supporters, and committed individuals. Thanks to all of you who have stepped forward to tell your story, who have listened carefully to the stories of others, who have worked in coalition and collaboration both when it’s been hard and when it’s been easy.
This year saw the largest legislative investment ever in creating housing opportunities for those who most need stable homes, both in money and in policy changes that will benefit people and communities for decades. This year saw the continued strength of the Oregon IDA Initiative, with more than 3,000 people saving for a better future with the incentive of matching funds. Here at Neighborhood Partnerships, we’re excited to have built our skills in equity and human centered design, and to be looking ahead to the learning and creating we will do with partners. We’ve also helped launch a network of residents of affordable housing, who will be a strong voice in shaping and advancing policy and resources for years to come.
Looking into 2020, we also have both work and challenges ahead of us. The short legislative session, which will take place from February 3rd to March 8th, 2020, is our chance to once again put the Oregon IDA Initiative on stable financial footing after changes at the federal level that we didn’t finish addressing in 2019. We’ll need your help, as discussed elsewhere in this newsletter. The Housing Alliance will have an agenda for the short session as well, to be finalized at the December membership meeting.
We feel fortunate to have all of you as partners – thank you for all you do to make Oregon a better place.