Our affiliated state association, the Oregon Home Builders Association (OHBA), has been representing our industry in Salem during the 2017 legislative session. On July 7, the final day of the 2017 session, Speaker Kotek’s key pro-housing bill passed that we believe will have a variety of positive impacts across the region.
Originally formed as House Bill 2007, many key components of that bill were folded into the version that ultimately passed – Senate Bill 1051. This bill would not have been possible without the leadership of Speaker of the House Tina Kotek and other legislators. Some highlights from the bill include:
- Will create a new, faster process for affordable housing
- Emphasizes the clear and objective standard requirement; provides that projects cannot be turned down if they meet these standards
- Restricts the ability of cities to use design or other discretionary review processes to reduce density
- Provides that applied-for density cannot be reduced unless necessary for health, safety or goal compliance reasons
- Redefines “needed housing” to just “housing” so that all residentially zoned land, including mixed use, is entitled to the clear and objective standard requirement
- Prohibits cities and counties from not allowing ADUs on all single family lots
- Allows religious institutions to use their land for affordable housing if they’re in residential zones
Many areas that this bill addresses, namely density and timeliness, are common issues that HBA works on in Metro Portland. We’re encouraged to see this push from the State Legislature and look forward to working closely with local jurisdictions as they implement these new rules.
The full text of the bill can be found here. Look for a full update on the legislative session in an upcoming newsletter.