Skip to Content

Gov. Kotek testifies for her housing production bill, announces broad coalition in support

Gov. Tina Kotek testifies Thursday for housing production bill
Oregon State Legislature
Gov. Tina Kotek testifies Thursday for housing production bill

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) — Governor Tina Kotek announced a broad coalition supporting her housing production bill, which is building momentum in the 2024 legislative session. Senate Bill 1537 received its first hearing Thursday morning before the Senate Committee On Housing and Development. 

The coalition includes workers, business, community-specific organizations, housing providers, tenants, advocates and more, listed below.

“This coalition has spoken loud and clear: the status quo is not working for Oregon families, workers, employers, and households that are struggling with housing insecurity,” Governor Kotek said. “I commend Senate President Rob Wagner, Senator Kayse Jama, and all of the housing champions in the legislature for taking this issue head on, and I am resolved to see progress for Oregonians this session.”

The governor testified in favor of Senate Bill 1537 on Thursday, emphasizing the urgent need to increase housing supply, affordability and climate incentives. More than 150 stakeholders submitted testimony in support of the bill, citing specific benefits of the measure to housing providers, tenants, workers, underserved communities and more.

“Workforce housing is in short supply, and rent prices are untenable for our workers; many of whom can’t afford the basics like food and gas after paying rent,” said Melissa Unger, Executive Director of SEIU Local 503. “We are looking to state leaders to ensure that all Oregon families have access to a place they can call home without having to put in jeopardy their ability to pay for food, childcare, health care, etc. Senate Bill 1537 is a critical step to making that possible.” 

“Our members have been telling us for years that one of their top workforce challenges is the lack of supply and exorbitant cost of workforce housing,” said Scott Bruun, VP of Government Affairs at Oregon Business and Industry. “Housing supplies are insufficient at every level, including middle-market workforce housing. This problem not only hurts employees or potential employees in Oregon, it also hurts the employers who cannot attract or retain the workers they need. Simply put, our workforce housing crisis hurts the competitiveness and severely hamstrings the potential growth and success of Oregon businesses. SB 1537 gets at the core of this problem.”

“We believe this bill takes important steps to address Oregon’s longstanding housing production shortfall,” said Cameron Herrington of the Oregon Housing Alliance. “High rates of homelessness, as suffered by some 18,000 Oregonians, result from high rents and low rental vacancies. Both of those factors are largely attributable to an under-supply of housing.”

"It is time to take the housing crisis seriously and act accordingly," said Ernesto Fonseca, CEO of Hacienda CDC. "This bill will generate opportunities for housing and prosperity for all Oregonians. We need all types of housing for every stage of life for every family. Senate Bill 1537 will pave the way."

More details on the bill can be found here. You can watch the committee hearing here.

See full coalition list in support of Senate Bill 1537 below:

Alianza Poder
BackHome ADU
Bend Chamber of Commerce
Better Housing Together
Bienestar
CASA of Oregon
Children’s Institute
Chrisman Development
Coalition of Community Health Clinics
Community Action Partnership
Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT)
Community Development Partners
Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH)
DevNW
Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce
Fair Housing Council of Oregon
Farmworker Housing Development Corporation
Gorman & Company
Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce
Habitat for Humanity of Oregon
Habitat for Humanity Portland Region
Hacienda CDC
Home Forward
Housing Authorities of Oregon
Housing Oregon
Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency
Multifamily NW
Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH)
Northwest Pilot Project
Oregon AFSCME 75
Oregon Association of Realtors
Oregon Business & Industry
Oregon Home Builders Association
Oregon Housing Alliance
Oregon Human Development Corporation (OHDC)
Oregon Law Center
Oregon Property Owners Association
Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association
Oregon Smart Growth
Oregon State Fire Fighters Council
Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN)
Portland Housing Center
Portland Metro Chamber
Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors
RootedHomes
Salem Area Chamber of Commerce
Service Employees International Union
SquareOne Villages

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ news sources

BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION

KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content