2017 Final Roundup of New Rental Legislation in Oregon

January 16, 2018
Authors: Aaron Kirk Douglas, Marketing Director
Publishers: HFO Apartment Investor Newsletter

The biggest news from the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session was the failure of attempts to end a statewide ban on rent control and to end no-cause evictions. The work done by the rental housing associations, More Housing Now, the Equitable Housing PAC and the Multifamily Defense Fund were the linchpin in keeping a lid on those efforts. Unfortunately, Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek promises to resurrect these issues in 2018. Donate at www.hfore.com/donate.

INCREASING HOUSING SUPPLY AND AFFORDABILITY

HB 2066 – Affordable Housing Tax Credit

Effective October, 2017
Extends the affordable housing lenders tax credit and increases the cap. The Housing and Community Services Department may certify qualified loans if the total credits attributable to all eligible qualified loans do not exceed $25 million (previously $17 million) for any fiscal year.

HB 2377 – Affordable Housing Property Tax Exemption
Effective October, 2017

Authorizes a city or county to adopt an ordinance or resolution granting a property tax exemption to newly rehabilitated or constructed qualified multi-unit rental housing. Allows property tax exemption for up to 10 consecutive years. While not specifically referenced in the measure, ORS 308.701 defines “Multi-unit rental housing” as: “(a) residential property consisting of four or more dwelling units” and; “does not include assisted living facilities.”

HB 2724 – Rent Guarantee Program
Effective July 1, 2017

Creates a rent guarantee program in the Housing and Community Services Department, where incentives or financial assistance may be paid to landlords under specific circumstances when they rent or lease to graduates of a qualifying tenant education program. Examples of such payments include costs for unpaid rent, evictions, and property damage, up to certain limits. To be eligible for the program, tenants must receive training by HCSD on the guidelines to achieve and maintain a successful tenancy, among other eligibility requirements. Participating landlords are required to collect metrics, including length of tenancy, reason for termination, amount of unpaid rent and damages, and to provide a report to HCSD before receiving financial assistance. [See HFO-TV interview on this here.]

HB 2912 – Affordable Housing Land Fund
Effective January 1, 2018

Establishes the Affordable Housing Land Acquisition Revolving Loan Program with $3 million and directs 40% of the loans to go to organizations operating home ownership programs for low-income households.

HB 3175 – Local Innovation and Fast Track Housing Program
Effective June 6, 2017

Modifies the definition of low-income households for those renting and owning residential housing in the Local Innovation and Fast Track Housing (LIFT) program. The LIFT program awards subsidies to developers building affordable housing for low-income households in Oregon with a focus on rural communities and communities of color. LIFT applicants are eligible for a maximum $38,000 subsidy per affordable housing unit offered to residents earning at or below 60% of the area median income. Habitat for Humanity frequently uses programs like LIFT to help low-income families achieve home ownership.

SB 1051 – Housing Development
Effective July 7, 2017 (application review after July 1, 2018)

Requires local jurisdictions to review and make decisions on permit applications for qualifying affordable housing inside of the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) within 100 days. Requires cities and counties to approve application if clear and objective development standards for “needed housing” are met. Expands definition of “needed housing” to include affordable housing and housing on land zoned for residential use. Cities and counties must allow at least one accessory dwelling unit (ADU) for each detached single-family home in areas zoned for single-family.

Affordable Housing Funding:

  • $25 million in lottery bonds for the preservation of affordable housing – a $20 million increase in bonding from the 2015-2017 authorization.
  • $80 million in state-backed bonds for affordable housing development via the Local Innovation Fast Track Housing Program (LIFT).

OTHER MEASURES OF INTEREST TO HOUSING PROVIDERS

SB 311 – Property Tax Exemption Allowed for Seismic Retrofits
Authorizes city or county to adopt ordinances or resolutions providing property tax exemptions to commercial, industrial and multifamily buildings built before January 1, 1993, that will be seismically retrofitted, for period not to exceed 15 years.

SB 769 – Social Security Number Confidentiality Requirement
Provides that person may not dispose of, or transfer to another person for disposal, material or media that display Social Security number unless person, before disposing of material or media, makes Social Security number unreadable or unrecoverable or ensures that person that ultimately disposes of media or material makes Social Security number unreadable or unrecoverable.

HB 2140 – Seismic Risk Disclosure Requirement
Requires seller of real property to disclose seismic risk in seller’s property disclosure statement.

HB 2511 – Electric Vehicle Chargers
Effective June 20, 2017

Authorizes residential tenants to install and use electric vehicle charging stations on premises for personal, noncommercial use. Declares charging station to be personal property of tenant unless otherwise negotiated between parties. The measure establishes that the tenant is financially responsible for the costs associated with permits, installation and maintenance of the charging station, and the cost of electricity associated with the charging station. Charging stations must be installed and removed by a licensed, journey-level electrician. Tenant must maintain liability insurance policy in an amount not less than $100,000 that includes coverage of the charging station.

Landlords may:

  • Require a tenant to submit an application before installing a charging station.
  • Require the charging station to meet the architectural standards of the premises.
  • Impose reasonable charges to recover costs of the review and permitting of a charging station.
  • Impose reasonable restrictions on the installation and use of the charging station, provided the restrictions do not: (a) significantly increase the cost of the charging station; or (b) significantly decrease the efficiency or performance of the charging station.

HB 2944 – Housing Choice Landlord Guarantee Program
Operative as of August 1, 2017

Limits landlord assistance under program to damages awarded in judgment following hearing in which landlord proves amount of damages. Repeals requirement for tenant to repay Housing Choice Landlord Guarantee Program for assistance paid to landlord. Provisions apply to claims for financial assistance based on judgments entered on or after operative date.


Source: Oregon Rental Housing Alliance, Ticor Title and HFO research