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Government and Politics
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Housing Measures Move Forward In Oregon Legislature

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Oregon DOT

Two measures aimed at protecting low-income Oregonians from rising housing costs are moving forward in the state legislature.

A bill that would reverse Oregon's nearly two-decade old ban on inclusionary zoning laws is headed to the Senate floor. Inclusionary zoning is when governments require developers to include low-income housing options in new developments. Oregon law prevents local governments from passing those kinds of laws and this bill would overturn that ban.

Another bill approved on the House floor would prevent landlords from increasing the rent for the first year for tenants on month-to-month leases. Supporters include Democratic Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer.

"This one little bill is absolutely not going to solve the crisis at all,” Keny-Guyer said. “It aims to increase stability and predictability for tenants in a really hot, hot market."

After the first year, landlords would have to give 90-days notice for a rent hike. That's up from the current 30-day required notice.

Opponents, including Republican Representative Jim Weidner, said the measure would do little to ease housing pressures. "This bill doesn't do it. This is a feel-good bill," Weidner said.

The measure now heads to the Oregon Senate.