Oregon REALTORS® Improve Vets’ Access to Housing
The Oregon Association of REALTORS® is continuing a strong history of supporting affordable housing opportunities in their state.
Affordable housing can be difficult to come by in Oregon. The state’s unique land-use system puts a number of artificial constraints on the supply of land, which drives up housing prices and makes it difficult for many residents, especially those with incomes at or below the median, to obtain affordable housing.
The people impacted most by the lack of affordable housing are military veterans, who constitute one of every six persons living in Oregon’s homeless shelters. To address veterans’ needs for assistance, REALTORS® supported and helped pass House Bill 2417, which increased by $5 the fee collected by county clerks for recording real property documents and mandated that revenue from the fee be used to help veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
This small fee increase, which went into effect in January 2014, is projected to increase revenue for housing-related services for veterans by an average of $3.3 million each year. The funds are used to provide emergency rent assistance, new or rehabilitated housing, and down payment assistance for hundreds of veterans.
Support for House Bill 2417 is just one of the many ways REALTORS® have been working to increase consumer access to affordable housing in Oregon. Through its charitable organization, the HOME Foundation, the Oregon Association of REALTORS® has provided more than $750,000 in grants to affordable housing associations across the state in the past decade. In 2014 alone, grants totaling $144,000 were awarded. These grants fund organizations that help residents at or below the poverty line to realize the dream of home ownership, through education and financial assistance programs.
The Oregon Association of REALTORS® is committed to helping all buyers find affordable housing.