Oregon faces a crisis of affordable housing. People who request food assistance consistently cite the cost of housing as a primary reason for seeking help — and renters are more than six times more likely to experience hunger than homeowners. As governor, what will you do to move us toward an Oregon in which everyone has safe, affordable and healthy housing?
Dr. Julian Bell: I think the state of Oregon will have to invest in affordable housing. The housing marketplace has no rationale for building affordable housing when it can build unaffordable housing for a much greater return on investment. The people who need affordable housing (voters) are for the most part disenfranchised as individuals but have the potential to organize and advocate for their goals - in the form of elected leaders, for example the Governor of the state, who would at least potentially, if elected by these affordable housing advocates, invest public (voter) money in this very important public service.
Wilson Bright: Please see my plan for affordable housing. I believe the single best thing we can do is to bring people into homeownership. If I become governor the state moves into the development business and builds thousands of affordable houses. (mostly of the smaller square foot size) We don’t want to be landlords, we want to be mortgage holders. We sell these affordable houses back to the general public, putting downward pressure on housing prices. We reserve at least 1/3 of these condos as rent to own. If a person works hard and stays off hard drugs, we will create opportunities for homeownership.
George Carrillo: I will invest in affordable housing for low-income renters by limiting landlords to charge no more than 30% of the total household income for low-income individuals. I believe we should reinvest our Section 8 Housing funds and other program funds to allow a tax break for landlords who continue to provide low-income housing. I will reinforce the current state “just cause” requirement for convictions and ensure the right to court-appointed counsel in housing disputes.
I will work towards ending gentrification and exclusionary zoning because this keeps affordable housing out of neighborhoods through land use and building code requirements and raises the price of rent, homes, and property values.
For renters who experience houselessness, I will create new facilities throughout the state that provides on-site services to address the needs of our houseless community and assist with the shift in becoming self-sufficient. This includes expanding the concept of shelters by addressing the social determinants of health of an individual or family who is willing to engage.
The state should provide funding to county and city governments to collaborate with state government agencies to streamline processes and create measurable goals that will produce maximum outcomes for the community.
Reed Christensen: See above.
Michael Cross: I would refer back to my homeless crisis solution to solve this issue as well. One of the byproducts of that program is to produce more affordable housing. Please watch the video and share the feedback.
Nick Hess: Homeownership is the quickest way to build personal wealth. To build a healthy and thriving community we need more affordable housing. Oregon largely has a supply and demand problem. We do not have enough inventory and any plans to add more housing are tied up in building ordinances and restrictions.Taxes such as the CAT tax also tack on additional costs to new housing projects which then gets passed on to renters and buyers. We need a temporary pause on unnecessary regulations so that we can increase our inventory and decrease housing and rental prices.
Tina Kotek: We have an unacceptable humanitarian emergency on our sidewalks and in our neighborhoods. We need to bring more urgency to helping people experiencing homelessess get into shelters and transitional housing so they can get stable and into permanent housing. This includes improving access to mental health and addiction services.
As Governor, I’ll lead a comprehensive approach to tackling our housing and homelessness crisis, focusing on five priorities:
- End unsheltered homelessness for veterans, families with children, unaccompanied young adults, and people 65 years and older by 2025, and continue strengthening pathways to permanent housing for all Oregonians experiencing homelessness.
- Build enough housing to meet the need for people currently experiencing homelessness, address current shortage of housing, and keep pace with future affordable housing demand by 2033.
- Advance racial equity by reducing the racial homeownership gap by 20% by 2027.
- Keep people housed who are currently on the brink of homelessness.
- Encourage intergovernmental and private sector partnerships to have more effective and efficient responses to solving this crisis.
If we’re going to solve Oregon’s housing crisis, we need near-term and long-term strategies. As Governor, I’ll move Oregon forward on meeting both the immediate challenges and tackling the root causes of this crisis.
Tim McCloud: Before and during economic and housing crisis, Oregonians need access to various types of assistance that may include food, medical care, and transitional housing. Oregon is a decade behind on the issues of housing and homelessness, and they are still many of the same issues that pushed my own family out of a home many years ago; even though I was running a small business, attending school online, and raising a young family. Today, it is still the same reality for many of the people on our streets. However, other causes of homelessness today are often complex and at times, will need to be addressed even before housing. As Governor I will work with various organizations to develop more quality and affordable housing throughout Oregon. While housing development is underway, I will also support better community-supported programs and planning to care for young homeless children and their families.
Keisha Lanell Merchant: The state of Oregon is a land ownership state. Therefore it is the Governor's responsibility to influence change and diversity social responsibility through innovation and support. Therefore the Good Stewardship platform campaign includes starting with a taskforce to assign abandoned land or misused land to share as tax exemption land ownership to Oregonians to be responsible for the care of that land and give or pass down generation to generation with the support of the Park and Urban Rangers.
The Good Stewardship platform campaign includes a holistic approach to sustainability and Quality of life through creating green zone campuses and humanitarian aid communities. It will include a mathematical system that crunches numbers for resource management systems and distributions of quality care services and products that will be high grade, excellent conditions using Maslow's theory of actualization, transformative leadership and systematic processes for quality assurance.
This is called the Good Stewardship platform campaign. And the Good Samaritan Act 1 and 2.
Tobias Read: Oregon has a homelessness crisis. Nearly 16,000 people are experiencing homelessness every day in Oregon. And despite state and local governments spending hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years, the crisis has only gotten worse. What we’re doing isn’t working. As Governor, I will respond with the urgency and much needed accountability that has been missing from this crisis.
While getting people safely off the streets is an immediate priority, we must address the long-term causes of homelessness. Homelessness disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous and other people of color, women fleeing domestic violence, veterans, LGBTQIA2S+ youth, and those with chronic health conditions. One of the key drivers is Oregon’s severe shortage of affordable housing, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term economic consequences. We know what it takes to get in front of this crisis: preventing evictions for those who are at risk of homelessness, housing those who are currently homeless, and delivering the health services - especially mental and addiction services - to those who need it.
Patrick Starnes: I would create the Oregon Shelter Fund outside of the General Fund. Revenue will be generated by enacting a vacancy fee on abandoned homes and commercial buildings. This money could be matched with local and federal dollars to provide affordable housing and vital services for the homeless and those in danger of becoming so. As the “Timber Capitol of the World,” Oregon can provide shelter for the unhoused and affordable housing for the working families in tourist dominated areas of Oregon.
John Sweeney: I will work to get more funding for housing.
Marc Thielman: The lack of affordable housing rests solely at the feet of State Government Policy, specifically Urban Growth Boundary regulations that are one-sized fits all. Local Governments must be given more flexibility to prioritize strategic developments for housing that make sense for those communities. Rural counties have different needs that Urban counties and the local county/municipal governments must be set free to use commonsense and approve expansion of housing and industrial developments serve to create economic and housing security. Our current system is far too restrictive and facilitates too much governmental and regulatory inefficiency. It should not take an average of seven years to approve a 500 unit apartment complex.
Michael Trimble: I will lower rents of middle-to-low-income by at least $100 at multi-unit apartment properties in my first 100 days while I work with the legislature to ultimately cap rents of middle-to-low-income to 30% of their income in my first term. I will ban all rent related nonrefundable fees including application and pet fees, as well as criminalize vacancies longer than 45 days. If a vacancy can't be filled after 45 days, the government will give that unit to a tenant on the waiting list. There is no reason for vacancies with so many people looking for housing. Where I live, there have been vacant units sitting unoccupied for months because the property management company refuses to rent at below market value. All that will end as your governor.
I will mandate Section 8 be accepted by all landlords/property managers and work to cut the obscenely egregious waiting lists/times to under 100 days. I will seize all vacant buildings/properties under eminent domain and give them to nonprofits/organizations/agencies ready to convert them into housing. I will overhaul zoning to discourage single unit only dwellings to expand multi unit/shared dwellings.
RENT/HOUSING IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT NOT A PRIVILEGE OR A LUXURY