Oregon Legislature: Motels to Housing Converted One Step Further | Local

PETER WONG Oregon Bureau of Capital

The conversion of hotels and motels to emergency shelters and low-cost housing would be eased under a bill midway through the Oregon legislature.

The House voted 41-12 Wednesday to send the bill to the Senate.

House Bill 3261 would exclude converting hotels and motels purchased for emergency shelter or low cost housing from land use issues in cities and counties. Lawmakers made federal money available for such purchases last year as part of the Turnkey Project, overseen by the Oregon Community Foundation.

Biden Admin to extend the break, student loan interest and collections. White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced the extension at Tuesday’s press conference. The pause in collections will affect more than one million borrowers who have past due loans through private lenders. This step particularly protects 800,000 borrowers who risk having their tax refunds seized, Jen Psaki, press secretary of the White House, via CNN. Calls by prominent Democratic senators to write off $ 50,000 in federal student debt for each borrower have been curbed by President Joe Biden. Top legal experts say Biden has the power to write off student loan debt through executive order and the Department of Education. Biden has indicated his support for some form of student debt relief, but prefers legislative changes over executive orders so they last. There are a lot of steps we are looking at and we will continue to review them and of course be in touch with Leader Schumer about our process, Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, via CNN

Representative Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, said some projects have continued but others have stalled despite community support.

“The need to continue zoning changes often gets in the way of large projects,” said Marsh, the bill’s sponsor. “It’s a problem when we have a homelessness and social housing crisis.

“This will allow us to convert hotels and motels that have served tourists and become facilities that will house the most vulnerable among us. As a building meant to take care of people, it doesn’t matter who rests their head on that pillow. “

Marsh represents a neighborhood that lost 2,500 homes to the Almeda fire, which swept through northern Ashland through Talent and Phoenix. It was one of the Labor Day wildfires that swept through Oregon. Many of the displaced residents were low-income families who found themselves with few affordable alternatives for housing.

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