ADVOCACY ALERT_ Hearing Thursday, June 22nd on HB 2007

ADVOCACY ALERT: HB 2007 Hearing Thursday, June 22nd; Take Action Today!

Tell Legislators to either FIX IT or VOTE NO!

HB 2007 claims to support affordable housing, but in its current form this bill will do more harm than good by:

  • Incentivizing demolitions of existing modest-priced housing.
  • Providing no meaningful incentive to build more affordable homes.
  • Usurping local control over zoning without sufficient public process.
  • Stripping protection from future historic districts.

Restore Oregon and a coalition of preservation-minded organizations has proposed amendments to HB 2007 that would support construction of affordable housing, curb demolitions of existing homes, increase density, and retain protections for historic districts. BUT WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

A hearing on the bill was just announced before the Ways and Means subcommittee on National Resources this Thursday, June 22nd at 1pm in the State Capital Building, room H-174.

Come testify in person or email your testimony to the committee today.

Sen.LewFrederick@state.or.usRep.BradWitt@state.or.usSen.FredGirod@state.or.ussen.kathleentaylor@oregonlegislature.govRep.SalEsquivel@state.or.usrep.kenhelm@state.or.usRep.RickLewis@oregonlegislature.govRep.KarinPower@oregonlegislature.gov; jwmnr.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov

Feel free to put our talking points into your own words:

Dear __________,

If you share our goal of creating more affordable housing, increasing density without demolition, and conserving the historic character of our older neighborhoods, you must adopt Restore Oregon’s amendments to FIX HB 2007:

  1. Focus incentives on the creation of affordable housing, not market-rate housing.
  2. Stop tear downs of good modest-priced homes, unless they’re being replaced with multiple affordable units.
  3. Enable the internal conversion of existing houses into as many as four units without triggering the cost-prohibitive commercial building code.  This adds density while retaining character.
  4. Leave in place baseline protections for new historic districts, while providing incentives for ADUs, internal conversations, and compatible infill.

As it stands, HB 2007 is based on FALSE PREMISES:

  1. That simply building more housing – even if it’s at high market rates – will have the trickle-down effect of creating more affordability.
    1. There is NO EVIDENCE this has worked in other cities.  One need only look at San Francisco and Vancouver.
  2. That we have a shortage of market rate housing in Portland and other major metro areas.
    1. Market rate housing is doing fine – there’s even an over-supply at the higher end.
    2. We do not have enough AFFORDABLE housing.  Building more high-end homes will not help that.
  3. That there is insufficient buildable land inside the UGB.
    1. Nope. The central city is already dense, but outer neighborhoods have lots of opportunities for development and deserve investment.
  4. That designation of historic districts is being used as a mechanism for blocking density and affordable housing.
    1. Historic designation does NOT prohibit accessory dwelling units (ADUs) or infill development.  Some historic districts require design review for compatibility.  Recently revised Goal 5 rules provide that the only automatic protection for new historic districts is demolition review.
    2. Historic districts comprise just 1% – 3% of residential zoning.  They are not the problem and provide significant community benefits worthy of good stewardship.

There are positive aspects to HB 2007 such as streamlining review, establishing clear and objective standards for affordable housing design, and allowing religious institutions to create affordable housing on their property.

But to avoid doing more harm than good, we urge you to either adopt our proposed amendments as a package, or VOTE NO on this bill.

Thank you for giving this your full consideration,

YOUR NAME, Affiliation (if appropriate), City

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