On her first full day in office, Governor Tina Kotek signed Executive Order 23-04 which set a housing production goal of 36,000 homes per year and established the Housing Production Advisory Council, a council of experts charged with developing an action plan to meet the new construction targets. This ambitious target aims to address Oregon’s current housing shortage and keep pace with projected population growth. It would set Oregon on the path to build 360,000 additional homes over the next decade across all levels of affordability.
The Housing Production Advisory Council (HPAC) is comprised of 25 appointed individuals with experience in a broad set of disciplines representing Oregon’s diverse demographics and geography. The Council has been meeting regularly since March 2023, and is nearing completion with its recommendations for Governor Kotek.
The policy recommendations fall into five broad categories which mirror the Bend Chamber’s housing policy platform developed for the 2023 legislative session:
- Land Availability
- Land Development Permit Applications
- Codes and Design
- Workforce Shortages
Many of the ideas and policy recommendations are not novel, however the time constraints of the legislative session rarely allow for the level of discussion and dialog needed to vet out concerns and work towards consensus. While the final list of recommendations will be released later this month, key concepts discussed include: Simplifying the land use appeals process; Streamlining the land use permit application process; Expanding the inventory of ready-built plans; Reducing barriers in the permit review process; Expanding construction trade apprenticeship programs; Encouraging and incentivizing production of middle housing types; Creating a Statewide Infrastructure Fund; and Creating an Expedited UGB Expansion Process.
More information on all the recommendations and the HPAC’s work can be found online, and the final recommendations will be discussed by lawmakers at Legislative Days occurring September 28-29 in Salem.