Oregon Passes Sweeping Housing Legislation, Vowing to Avoid Affordability Crisis Seen in Bay Area

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Blue recycling bins are seen in a neighborhood on Oct. 30, 2017, in Portland, Oregon. (Credit: Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

Blue recycling bins are seen in a neighborhood on Oct. 30, 2017, in Portland, Oregon. (Credit: Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

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When Oregon’s political leaders debated solutions to a housing crisis that was forcing renters from their homes and sending prices through the roof, they had a central goal in mind: avoid the fate of their neighbor to the south.

“In Portland, we’re just trying not to become San Francisco,” said Tina Kotek, the speaker of Oregon’s House of Representatives.

This year, Kotek and her colleagues advanced the most ambitious response to housing affordability challenges in the country. Lawmakers passed a first-in-the-nation cap on rent increases and, in an effort to spur new homebuilding, became the only state to eliminate single-family-only zoning in many of its residential neighborhoods.

But in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers have struggled to pass strong renter protections and legislation that would significantly increase the state’s housing supply. A bid to cap rents in the state has been significantly narrowed — under the current version of the legislation, the policy would expire after just three years. And a high-profile measure, Senate Bill 50, to increase residential development near transit stops and in single-family neighborhoods was shelved in the spring.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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