Landmark Bill: Legislature lifts inclusionary zoning preemption, a top priority for Portland
A bipartisan vote in the Oregon House of Representatives passed a landmark bill that lifts the state’s preemption on inclusionary zoning. Now the City of Portland can require affordable housing units to be incorporated into multifamily developments, even if they don’t receive City funding. This gives City leaders the ability to create long-term affordability in new housing development.
“This will help make affordable housing opportunities available throughout the city, not just within urban renewal areas,” said Mayor Charlie Hales. “A huge thanks to Sen. Michael Dembrow, Speaker Tina Kotek, Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, and all of the bipartisan support that passed this important bill.”
Portland rental costs last year increased more than 9 percent, about $100 per month, from the previous year. Similarly, for-sale unit prices increased 32 percent, about $75,000, since 2011. Rising housing costs caused a tragic increase in the number of homeless families in Portland. While the City Council has increased the City’s affordable housing investments by hundreds of millions of dollars, inclusionary zoning provides a new tool to have a long-term impact on housing affordability.
In another win for housing affordability, the Oregon Legislature passed tenant protections that lengthen the notice period required for rent increases to 90 days, and prohibit rent increases during the first year of month-to-month tenancies.
Fair Wage: State increases minimum wage
The Portland City Council last year raised the minimum wage for full-time City workers, and saw the tremendous impact it made for employees and their families. On March 2, Gov. Kate Brown signed into law a three-tiered system to increase the state minimum wage. The three tiers include a base state wage, a Portland wage, and a non-urban county wage. The new law is a bold step in ensuring economic opportunity for all Portlanders, and all Oregonians.
Read more from Statesman Journal
Climate Action: Clean electricity bill ends state’s coal use
The Legislature passed a bill that requires Oregon’s two largest electric companies to eliminate coal-fired electricity; doubles the renewable portfolio standard to 50 percent by 2040; and proffers community solar incentives for low-income residential consumers. “Portlanders have been clear that they want to shift away from coal and support renewable energy, and our legislators and utilities listened,” Mayor Hales said. “We are reinforcing the ‘green wall’ along the West Coast.”
Read more from OPB