We are now in day 9 of the 2016 Oregon Legislative Session. Today is a major milestone for the session - after today House Bills NOT passed out of House Committees (and likewise Senate Bills in Senate Committees) are considered dead and will have to be reintroduced in the 2017 Legislative Session. Bills in the House or Senate Rules Committee, Revenue and Ways and Means are the exception. Which by the way, is our next stop in our 2016 Legislative journey.
There were two committee work sessions yesterday. In the "Senate Committee Human Services and Early Childhood" the "inclusionary zoning" bill (SB 1533) was amended with a compromise between a large pool of interests - from cities, counties, realtors, home builders, housing activists etc. The amendment eliminates the pre-emption on “inclusionary zoning” - which cuts close to our pre-emption on rent control (ORS 91.225). There had been rumors/discussions in the Capitol for the that the legislature would make adjustments to our rent control pre-emption. It did not happen. The committee never mentioned rent control. The bill (SB 1533) passed unanimously out of the Senate committee to the Senate Revenue Committee. SB 1533 allows construction excise taxes as part of the overall compromise hence requiring a detour to the Senate Revenue Committee. (Side note: Some of the revenue generated by this legislation will go to Oregon Housing and Communities Services for affordable housing programs such as money for first time home buyers. That money could be used for first time homebuyers in MHCs. MHCO will look into this further.)
The second hearing and work session was in the "House Committee on Human Services and Housing". The committee adopted the dash 11 amendment to HB 4143. This amendment strengthens the RV exception which MHCO requested and exempts MHCs from the new regulations on apartments (such as no rent increase during the fist year). The bill passed out of the Committee to the "House Rules Committee". The “Rules Committee” may also adopt some changes that would open up land outside the urban growth boundary for building of affordable house. The committee may also make changes to the 90 day no cause notice setting it back to 60 days. The dash 11 amendment was adopted and the committee voted along party lines with one Republican (Knute Buehler, R- Bend) voting in favor of the bill.
The take away from yesterday is there will be no rent control bill this session and the changes to the laws impacting manufactured home communities in Oregon will be minimal.
For those of you interested, here is an article in today’s “Oregonian” on yesterday’s housing developments in the Oregon Legislature.
MHCO will continue to monitor legislative developments. We are close to a third through the 2016 Oregon Legislative Session – a lot can still happen – but we are cautiously optimistic that for the most part manufactured home communities will only be minimally impacted.