Media Room

REMARKS AS PREPARED

Governor Kate Brown
Housing Bill Signing Remarks
Thursday, August 8, 2019
 
Good afternoon, I’m Governor Kate Brown. 

I’m so incredibly pleased to be here today to celebrate the progress we made this session on addressing Oregon’s housing crisis. We committed to significant investments that will help every family have a warm, safe, and dry place to call home. It’s really exciting to see how far we’ve come together.

First let me start by thanking Speaker Kotek, Senators Steiner, Hayward, Fagan and Johnson, and Representatives Marsh and Keny-Guyer for joining me in making housing a budget priority. I also would like to thank the Oregon Housing Alliance, and our state agencies, Oregon Housing & Community Services and the Oregon Department of Land Conservation & Development for your dedication. It’s an honor to work with you.

We kicked off session with a bold housing agenda, requesting a record $400 million investment so that every Oregonian — in communities large and small — can achieve housing stability.

And we wrapped up session very close to that full package. Our state’s leadership agreed that housing is a top priority. We see that commitment reflected in the bills I will sign today. 

We also have a big crowd here today which I believe showcases the incredible importance of partnership in tackling these issues. 

Addressing our state’s housing crisis requires all hands on deck. From local to state government, and from small organizations to large agencies.  And the advocates here highlight the important work that’s happening in our communities across Oregon, both urban and rural.

We all know that no one single solution will address this crisis. That’s why the bills I’m signing today reflect the whole spectrum of issues, from homelessness to stable rental housing, to increasing home ownership.

And while we focus on both long-term and short-term ways to relieve the pressures Oregonians feel with regards to housing, we’re also working hard on a middle strategy — and that means supply, supply, supply.

Dan and I bought our home in Southeast Portland in the late 1990s. If I were buying my first home in that neighborhood today, there’s absolutely no way I could afford it. 

Now, after the progress we have made this session on addressing the housing crisis, we are helping make Oregon more affordable for everyone.

Increasing supply is incredibly important. The resources OHCS will receive through their new budget will get us to the goal of tripling our pipeline, from bringing on 8,000 new affordable homes earlier this year to a goal of bringing on more than 25,000 in the next 5 years. 

And on that note, I want to thank our Housing Stability Council for your work bringing affordable homes to low-income communities across the state.

We know what we need to do. We have passed the legislation. Now, the real hard work begins!

As with any new policy, implementation is key. Moving forward, we will monitor the effects of these new strategies, and continue to strike a balance between protecting vulnerable populations that have been negatively impacted by the housing shortage while protecting the housing supply network that will get us out of this situation.

It’s a privilege to see people across our state come together on this shared goal. I very much look forward to working on the next steps with all of you.