The 2023 WTA Legislative Agenda
It's here! We met on August 20th, 2022 to discuss and vote to approve the agenda, which we passed unanimously!
Keep Affordable Housing Affordable (KAHA) !
The Woodspring Tenants Association 2023 Legislative Agenda
Goals of the legislation:
Preserve Affordable Housing (AH) / Prevent existing AH from going market rate
Make it harder to raise rents / change terms on AH tenants
Mitigate the impacts of displacement from AH economic eviction
Hamilton-Zanze Predatory Investment Act (HZPIA)
Prospective applicants of non-permanent AH properties must be informed in writing, prior to receiving an application, of the date affordability restrictions will (or could) expire and what that will mean for them
Create a permanent revenue stream to finance the purchase, rehab, and ongoing management and maintenance of existing or expiring affordable housing
When/if preservation is not possible, the state will use the revenue source above to provide a permanent subsidy to residents of expiring AH to keep rents and associated housing costs at an affordable level, funded in part by a windfall profits tax on the rent growth at complexes with expired tax credits
Keep Affordable Housing Affordable
Reduce allowable rent increase cap (for market rate) from 7%+CPI to 3% or CPI, whatever is less (This protects low-income Oregonians in ‘naturally affordable’ or market rate housing from unaffordable rent spikes)
Limit annual rent increases on all regulated AH properties (under any program, local/state) to 1%. (People earning low wages or on fixed incomes cannot keep up with 5% annual rent increases!)
Truth in Renting: New rules/charges/fees need to be presented in plain language, in a ‘Notice of Rules Change’ document separate from a new lease that includes the following.
A clear explanation of the new rule / change / fee and how it differs from the current policy
A clear explanation that the rule will not go into effect without the tenant voluntarily agreeing in writing.
Information stating that the tenant is not obligated to agree, nor can they be penalized for not doing so.
If signing a new lease will be the manner of accepting the new rule, the tenant needs to further be informed of this, and that not signing will result in a month to month tenancy under the current terms.
Homelessness Prevention Act
Statewide Relocation Assistance for Tenants Displaced from expiring affordable housing, or unaffordable rent increases in affordable housing: Any rent increase greater than the $50 for current/former AH residents (including those in expiring/expired AH programs) triggers the following:
Residents who cannot afford the increase can request relocation payments and services due to economic displacement
Landlords will pay 3x market rate rent of a comparable unit in the same area to help offset the moving expenses and higher (likely market) rents the resident will otherwise have to pay
If the impacted tenant is a single parent of minor children or social security eligible then the relocation payment is doubled
Landlords will be required to provide housing navigation services to help the tenant plan to relocate and secure new housing
Prohibits any lease break penalties for residents who terminate their leases early (with 30 days notice) in order to secure alternative housing b.
State Subsidized Vouchers for Residents in Expiring AH Any AH resident facing economic displacement from AH will be provided with a housing voucher subsidizing the difference between their rent and rent considered affordable to that resident based on their income.
What's next? How are we going to get this passed?
WTA is busy doing initial outreach to get the agenda in front of stakeholders and organizing a press release to announce the agenda with key legislative supporters. Meanwhile, WTA requests that anyone who is interested in helping advance the agenda in any capacity (individually or organizationally) provide their contact info by filling out this short form: https://tinyurl.com/kaha2023