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Oregon House of Representatives passes $200 million housing package with bipartisan support

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SALEM, Ore. -- The Oregon Legislature is responding to the state’s homelessness and affordable housing crisis, with the House of Representatives passing two bills meant to address the crisis with strong bipartisan support.

The Oregon House passed House Bill 2001 and House Bill 5019, together known as the Affordable Housing and Emergency Homelessness Response Package, with strong bipartisan support on March 15. Legislators said the package will take bold and effective action to help shelter Oregon’s unhoused, prevent more homelessness, and increase Oregonian affordable housing production.

Legislature officials said that if passed, the package will take several steps to address the problem of homelessness and housing. Officials said the package would:

• Fund Governor Kotek’s homelessness state of emergency to the tune of $130 million, allowing state agencies to carry out an urgent, coordinated response to homelessness

• Invest $27 million in rural and coastal communities so the response reaches rural and coastal parts of Oregon

• Prevent evictions that can lead to homelessness by giving renters more time to access rental assistance and other services that will help them stay in their homes

• Provide $25 million in critical support for homeless youth to curb adult homelessness

• Make building affordable housing production the state’s number one priority

• Ramp up the production of affordable modular housing made in Oregon by investing $20 million towards its production

• Create innovative financing models to build housing for middle-income families

• Improve on-site workforce housing for farmworkers.

Both bills passed with no more than 10 representatives voting against either. The package is now headed to the Oregon Senate for consideration.

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