Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler speaks to reporters on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at the Oregon State Capitol. Read complete article...
From the April 7th Director's Message:
Guided by the following principles – partnership is central to our work and equity matters – OHCS developed the following goals that will focus our work throughout this year:
Download the OHCS 2017 goals document here.
From the Oregonian Editorial Board, March 16:
(Gordon Oliver/Special to The Oregonian/OregonLive)
As public policy goes, the state's home-mortgage interest deduction that helps shrink Oregonians' tax bills flunks the test of public benefit.
The practice, which allows homeowners to deduct the amount of annual interest they pay to mortgage lenders, will cost Oregon nearly $500 million in lost revenue this year. The subsidy largely benefits higher-income tax filers who are more likely to itemize their deductions and who are the ones securing larger mortgages in the first place. Renters, who arguably pay property taxes just as homeowners do through their rent payments, get no similar benefit.
It's irrational, and several states, including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio, don't allow taxpayers to deduct it in computing their taxable income for state purposes. But will legislators have the stomach to revise this practice?
Read the full editorial here.
By Nigel Jaquiss - March 7th
Democratic lawmakers are testing their mettle this week as they hold a hearing on a sacred cow, the home mortgage interest deduction.
Groups such as the Oregon Center for Public Policy, a left-leaning think tank, and the Oregon Opportunity Network, an association of low-income housing providers, want lawmakers to scale back a tax break that's worth more than $500 million annually, mostly to middle and high income earners.
Read the whole article here.
Our 2017 Housing Opportunity Days will be Wednesday, March 22 and Thursday, May 18. Every session, we host Housing Opportunity Days at the Capitol. These are some of the most important, exciting, and fun days of the session—and we need you to make them a success. On these days, we arrange visits with your legislators, form teams, provide training, and send you off into the building to talk about the Housing Opportunity Agenda. This is a great way to get involved during the legislative session and send a clear message that we need bold action on housing now! For people who have never attended a Housing Opportunity Day before, we promise we’ll make it fun and easy. Carpools will be available. Register here...
March 7, Washington, D.C. – Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they are co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill that would target the affordable housing crisis by strengthening and expanding the federal low-income housing tax credit.
“This legislation provides a solid foundation for the major remodel that America’s housing policy needs in response to the lack of affordable housing for people of all ages,” said Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. “Building on the proven success of the low-income housing credit ensures that more Americans can have a roof over their heads where they can be safe.”
“I’ve heard from Oregonians who have to dedicate the majority of their income to housing or who are forced into homelessness because they simply can’t meet rising costs of housing,” Merkley said. “This legislation will begin to address the housing costs that have spiraled far beyond workers’ wage increases, and provide permanent homes for more American families.”
Read the full release here: https://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/wyden-merkley-introduce-low-income-housing-legislation
More than a 100 each from both sides turned out at a public hearing Thursday, March 2, at the State Capital. SALEM — North Portland resident Coya Crespin melted into tears Thursday as she recounted to legislators the ordeal of experiencing a mass eviction. Continue reading...
The Oregon Asset Building Coalition is working to help create a space for asset builders and financial capability service providers to come together to share best practices, identify community needs, and create a more unified vision for improving financial well-being for Oregon Communities. We hope folks will join is at the Salem Convention Center on Tuesday, April 18th, immediately following the Oregon Opportunity Network Spring Industry Conference from 4:30-7. This will be an opportunity for us to network, build relationships, and start to plan the path forward.
We started this conversation in February and we want to keep building our momentum. If this is the first you are hearing about this effort we welcome you to join us and tell a friend! We hope everyone who works to improve the financial lives of Oregonians will join this movement. Learn more about the event on April 18th and register to attend here.
Housing advocates seek cap on Oregon's mortgage interest deduction
by Joanne Zuhl | 12 Jan 2017
Oregon’s biggest – and most beloved – housing subsidy is subsidizing the wrong people.
That’s the perspective of a growing coalition of organizations looking to modify Oregon’s mortgage interest deduction, or MID, to make it more equitable for moderate- to lower-income homeowners.
These are the homeowners who need it, they say, not the state’s top 20 percent of income earners, who claim more than 60 percent of the state subsidy in terms of dollars.
“At a time when we are facing a severe housing crisis in Oregon, the biggest housing subsidy in our state is mostly giving money to the most well-off Oregonians – people who already have a home, who are in secure shelter for themselves and really do not need any help from the state to afford a home,” said Juan Carlos Ordóñez, communications director with the Oregon Center for Public Policy, or OCPP. “Reforming the MID is something that should have been done a long time ago. But Oregon’s housing crisis certainly adds urgency to this.”
The OCPP is joining the Oregon Opportunity Network, a statewide coalition of affordable housing and low-income services, in spearheading legislation for the 2017 legislative session in Salem.
Read the full article here. Update: since this article was published, the coalition proposal changed to increase the cap on the MID to $15,000. And, the coalition has grown with new partners the Children's Agenda, Coalition of Communities of Color, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Enterprise Community Partners, the League of Women Voters of Oregon, and the Welcome Home Coalition!
Though landlords and politicians including Kotek agree that Oregon is in the throes of an affordable housing crisis, they diverge on how to solve it! Read complete article...
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