Bill Promoting Stability, Self Sufficiency Signed by Governor

August 4, 2015 · by pcriadmin · Featured, PCRI

EditedFinalOn July 28, 2015, PCRI staff and community partners joined as Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed HB 3082. The bill helps low-income families maintain housing stability and move toward self-sufficiency as they increase their incomes while living in affordable housing.

HB 3082, created by Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI) and introduced March 23, 2015 by Chief Sponsor Representative Lew Frederick and Regular Sponsor Senator Chip Shields, was approved earlier this year by the Oregon State House and Senate.

“It was an honor to work with PCRI, state legislators, statewide and housing advocates Housing Alliance and OON to get HB 3082 passed,” said Representative Frederick as he introduced the legislation. “It will mean longer term stability for families in need of affordable housing and has no fiscal impact on the state.”

The bill eases the “benefits cliff” faced by families as their incomes grow beyond 60% of Area Median Income (AMI), the maximum and prior threshold to qualify for affordable housing property tax exemptions if living in non-profit affordable housing.

The so-called “benefits cliff” refers to this sharp drop-off in benefits low-income families face as their income grows by as little as one dollar over a pre-determined threshold, such as the 60% AMI threshold. Easing the “cliff” provides organizations like PCRI additional tools to help residents achieve self-sufficiency and break the cycle of poverty.

Partners pictured with Oregon Governor Kate Brown, seated, are (from left to right) Val Valfre of the Oregon State Housing Council, David Wilcox and Travis Phillips of PCRI, John Miller of OON, Andrea Debnam of PCRI, Oregon State Representative Lew Frederick, Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall, and Maxine Fitzpatrick of PCRI.

The bill was supported by Oregon Opportunity Network (OON) and local leaders, including Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury.

“Families who are working to improve their lives shouldn’t be penalized just as they begin to achieve better futures for their children,” Deborah Kafoury stated in a letter as the bill was presented to the House of Representatives’ Human Services and Housing Committee. “I believe that HB 3082 balances our efforts to provide affordable housing to those most in need with our investments in families who are working to attain self-sufficiency.”

Under Oregon’s prior laws, when a family earned even one dollar over the 60% AMI limit, they were at risk of losing their affordable rental housing. While PCRI works with residents to allow them to maintain their affordable housing as their income grows, HB 3082 allow government to extend the threshold for exemptions to 80% AMI (about $58,000 for a family of four) for existing residents. New renters would still need to earn less than 60% AMI at move-in, but would also be able to benefit from the flexible threshold which allows for increases in income over time.

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