Oregon Housing and Community Services – 07/27/23 1:06 PM
SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services has surpassed its July 2019-’24 Statewide Housing Plan goal to triple the existing pipeline of affordable rental housing up to 25,000 homes after the Oregon Stability Council approved the most recent funding awards on July 7. This accomplishment was realized a year ahead of schedule and marks a significant milestone for the agency and its commitment to addressing the affordable housing crisis in Oregon.
“This is a historic step for the agency and shows that progress is possible,” says Andrea Bell, OHCS Director. “Communities have stepped up to meet the needs of their most vulnerable neighbors developing more affordable housing than they ever have before. With the growing need for more housing, OHCS commits to providing resources as efficiently and equitably as possible to ensure everyone has access to safe, stable, and affordable housing.”
In 2019, OHCS released a five-year Statewide Housing Plan outlining six priorities and goals based on community feedback throughout the state. Three of these priorities are related to increasing the supply of affordable housing:
- Fund 1,200 units of permanent supportive housing
- Triple the amount of affordable housing units funded in rural Oregon
- Triple the existing amount of affordable rental housing to 25,000 homes
With a year left, OHCS has surpassed all three affordable housing goals.
“Congratulations to OHCS and affordable housing partners across the state for successfully tripling the supply of affordable rental housing up to 25,000 units,” said Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. “This is a historic achievement for us today. Housing is a human right. Every Oregonian should have a safe, dry, stable place to call home. Because of your work today, more and more Oregonians can have roofs over their heads and fresh starts for their families. I’ll keep working for every lever of the federal government to continue to tackle incredible questions of housing so we can meet the needs in Oregon and nationwide.”
“Oregon is facing a historic housing shortage. Lack of housing supply is driving up home prices and rents, pushing people onto our streets,” said Oregon U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici. “Today’s announcement that Oregon has surpassed our housing goal is welcome news, and proof that we can solve the current affordable housing crisis. This is a sure sign of progress and there’s more to be done. I appreciate Governor Kotek and Director Bell’s dedication to meet this challenge, and I am committed to partnering with them to secure needed investments to empower people experiencing homelessness with stable housing and wraparound services. By continuing to work together with governments, businesses, and local partners, we can build a world where everyone has a safe place to call home.”
A new report, “Reaching 25,000” and Statewide Housing Plan dashboard released today helps showcase key data points and affordable housing development progress across the state. In 2016, OHCS funded nearly 800 affordable rental housing units. In 2022, the agency increased that rate by six-fold, funding 5,000 affordable rental housing units.
Despite historic production levels the pressing need for affordable housing continues to outpace production. Recently, Governor Tina Kotek, through Executive Order 2023-04, set a new goal for the state to produce 36,000 housing units annually over the next ten years. Of these, 18,000 units are mandated to be affordable for individuals earning at or below 80% of the area median income.
“OHCS stands fully supportive of this audacious goal and pledges to enhance its capacity, foster learning, and collaborate with partners across the state to realize this vision,” said Bell. “This accomplishment would not have been possible without the unwavering support and dedication of the agency’s partners throughout the state. We are grateful to developers, community-based organizations, culturally specific partners, legislators, property owners, property managers, non-profits, educational institutions, Tribal Nations, architects, contractors, and local, state, and federal agencies for their invaluable contributions.”
About Oregon Housing and Community Services
Oregon Housing and Community Services provides resources for Oregonians to reduce poverty and increase access to stable housing. Our intentional focus on both housing and community services allows us to serve Oregonians holistically across the housing continuum, including preventing and ending homelessness, assisting with utilities, providing housing stability support, financing multifamily affordable housing and encouraging homeownership.