Ron stresses the urgent need for more affordable housing

Ron recently toured the Gray’s Landing development in Portland to highlight both the importance of the affordable housing tax credit and the urgency of expanding that incentive in the weeks ahead.

The tour came after a news conference with veterans and veterans’ advocates about the timeliness for Congress to address homelessness and affordable housing challenges by passing Ron’s bipartisan Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act.

“All of us are here this morning in Portland because between now and the end of 2019 presents the best opportunity for major action on housing before the 2020 election slams shut that window,” he said, noting almost 150,000 households in Oregon pay more than half their monthly take-home pay for rent. 

“When our neighbors can’t afford rent, it is far too easy for them to end up shivering in tents under highway overpasses, curling up under blankets in their cars or sleeping on cold cement,”’ Ron said. “It is painfully clear America’s housing policy needs a remodel. And the blueprint for that remodel requires expansion of the low-income housing tax credit.”

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act would increase the supply of affordable housing by 500,000 units over the next decade – the largest expansion ever of that tax credit.

As the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, Ron said the bipartisan bill is part of the bigger, bolder blueprint that’s needed to address the larger issue of housing affordability and homelessness.

Among the other pieces he included in that comprehensive blueprint are the following:

  • Working recently with Senators Jeff Merkley and Patty Murray on the appropriations front to get more than $2 billion for shelters and transitional housing for the homeless.

  • Securing an extra $125 million for homeless assistance grants that he will be pushing to ensure gets signed by the White House into law.

  • Reintroducing fresh legislation that helps first-time homebuyers with targeted tax credits.

“The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act won’t fix all the problems, but it is an essential part of this larger blueprint for housing,” Ron said. “The legislation provides a key that can unlock the front door of opportunity for more affordable housing for more Americans.”