REMARKS AS PREPARED
Governor Kate Brown
SB 608 Bill Signing – Rent Stabilization
Monday, March 4, 2019
I am pleased to be with you here today to sign Senate Bill 608 into law. I would like to thank Speaker Kotek, Senator Fagan, and many others in the housing communities, for their work on this legislation. Oregon Law Center, Community Alliance of Tenants, and the Housing Alliance. This effort has been long in the making, and it’s great to see so many of you here today.
This is a groundbreaking piece of legislation, as we are the first state in the nation to enact this level of protection for renters. This bill is a critical tool in stabilizing the rental market.
Senate Bill 608 will provide immediate relief to Oregonians struggling to keep up with rising rents and a tight rental market. But it does not work alone. It will take much more to ensure that every Oregonian, in communities large and small, has access to housing choices that allow them and their families to thrive.
This housing shortage has caused Oregonians across the state to face major challenges. Nearly fourteen thousand Oregonians experienced homelessness for at least one day in 2017. And Oregon’s homeownership rate is the 9th lowest in the country.
There is no single solution for Oregon’s housing crisis. We need a multi-faceted approach to prevent people from slipping into homelessness, to get people off the street quickly, and to help all Oregonians access stable homes.
My budget includes an historic $400 million in state investments to address these challenges. The investments are focused around 4 strategies:
1. We must prioritize ending homelessness for Oregon’s children. We need to make sure no kid shows up to school after spending the night in a car.
2. We have to invest in permanent supportive housing. Because we can move people from street corners and doorways into homes by investing in proven strategies. We know that reduces costs down the line to our health care, emergency response, and criminal justice systems.
3. We need to house Oregon’s veterans. We need to continue our ongoing efforts to build lasting infrastructure and deploy immediate resources for street outreach, rapid rehousing, and emergency housing assistance.
4. We need to accelerate the growth of housing supply in greater Oregon. This requires all hands on deck. We are focused on building capacity of our existing development partners. We also are actively seeking experienced housing developers to come to Oregon and partner with our local nonprofits to deliver housing to our communities. We are ready to partner.
All of these efforts will require swift legislative action and coordination among philanthropists, business leaders, developers, builders, and local government.
Senate Bill 608 is a bold start, but we cannot stop here. We must continue the hard work and make significant investments that will benefit Oregonians today and into the future.