After conversations with House and Senate leaders from both parties, Governor Kate Brown today outlined the priorities lawmakers agreed to address at the next special session of the Oregon Legislature , which is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. on Monday, December 13. The governor worked with legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle to finalize a proposal to meet the immediate needs of Oregon tenants during the winter months, as well as address other pressing issues affecting homes. Oregon residents.
âOregon residents facing eviction don’t have time to wait – they need an immediate solution that keeps them at home. And, over the past year, the people of Oregon have faced unprecedented challenges from record heat and persistent drought conditions, âGovernor Brown said. “I want to thank lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who have worked with me over the past few days to put in place a suite of policies and investments that address the urgent needs of the people of Oregon.”
The governor worked with lawmakers to create a policy and funding proposal to take immediate action on the following topics:
- Lodging: $ 215 million to prevent winter evictions and the transition to long-term eviction prevention services provided locally, as well as extended shelter protections for tenants who have applied for rental assistance.
- Drought relief: Providing $ 100 million to help Oregon residents affected by extreme heat and drought conditions this summer.
- Suppression of illegal cannabis: Provide $ 25 million for a comprehensive statewide plan to combat the proliferation of illegal cannabis in the state and mitigate the associated humanitarian impacts.
- Resettlement of Afghan refugees: $ 18 million to support the resettlement of Afghan refugees in Oregon.
- In addition, the Legislature plans to address a number of other priority issues for legislators, including: support for affordable housing in targeted areas ($ 14 million); grants to guides to outdoor recreation providers affected by drought or COVID-19 ($ 10 million); OHP dental funding ($ 19 million); Metro de l’Est awareness, prevention and intervention program ($ 2 million); and cross-laminated timber modular housing demonstration projects ($ 5 million).
Prevent winter evictions
As previously announced by Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS), nearly all of the remaining federal emergency rent assistance funds have been paid on behalf of or requested by tenants in Oregon. The policy and funding proposal to take immediate action to prevent winter evictions includes the following:
- Extend eviction protections for everyone who has applied for rental assistance and initiates security protections by June 30, 2022. Security protections will remain in place while applications are processed , not to last longer than September 30, 2022. (The current Safe Harbor protections in law last for 60 days.)
- Make sure that landlords are paid in full for the rent owed to them.
- Provide up to $ 100 million in additional emergency rental assistance to ensure access for low-income tenants in winter.
- Provide $ 100 million to support partnerships with existing programs as Oregon shifts from emergency rental assistance related to a large-scale pandemic to long-term eviction prevention services delivered locally.
The $ 100 million drought relief package agreed to by the governor and lawmakers includes:
- $ 40 million for a Disaster Farm Loan Loan program to fill gaps in federal disaster relief for agricultural producers and provide interim relief while Oregonians wait for federal funds;
- $ 12 million for the Klamath basin for assistance to domestic wells, wells for livestock, drought resilience and for assistance to irrigation districts;
- $ 9.7 million for drought relief on Klamath tribal lands;
- $ 10 million for agricultural workers who are absent from work due to hazardous working conditions resulting from extreme heat or smoke;
- $ 9.75 million for assistance to irrigation districts to offset water use costs;
- $ 5 million for the eradication of crickets and grasshoppers;
- $ 5.75 million for assistance to domestic and community wells;
- $ 3 million for an emergency soil conservation fund in Jefferson County;
- $ 1.5 million for the Oregon Community Food Systems Network to develop a disaster relief fund for farmers unable to access federal disaster relief funds or the repayable loan program for disasters. disaster proposed by the state;
- $ 1 million for technical assistance to BIPOC farmers and awareness raising on drought resistant crops;
- $ 1 million for Drought Resilience Work in Jefferson County;
- $ 750,000 for research and implementation of drought resistance; and
- $ 300,000 for a statewide drought vulnerability assessment.
Source: Oregon Governor’s Office