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Lawmakers boosted revenue to fund affordable housing by raising the real estate document recording fee

JAIME VALDEZ/CAPITAL BUREAU - 2018 Legislative Assembly at the Oregon State Capitol in SalemSALEM — State legislative leaders from Clackamas County celebrated the March 3 end of a 28-day policymaking session marked by some legislation to help fund affordable housing.

Lawmakers boosted revenue to fund affordable housing by raising the real estate document recording fee from $20 to $60. The fee is the state's only source of revenue dedicated to paying for affordable housing.

The increase is projected to generate an additional $60 million every two years. Twenty-five percent of the funds from the legislation will go to serve veterans.

House Bill 4007 helps Oregonians save for their first home by providing individuals with a tax benefit for funds contributed to a first-time homebuyer savings account and used to purchase their first home. The bill passed the House of Representatives 39 to 20.

"As a realtor, I've seen first-hand the struggles that everyday Oregonians are facing in this housing crisis," said Rep. Mark Meek (D-Gladstone/Oregon City). "Buying a home helps families to build inter-generational wealth and achieve their American dream."

Last year, Meek introduced legislation to establish the first-time homebuyer savings accounts.

In addition, at the request of Gov. Kate Brown, the Oregon Legislature devoted $5.2 million for emergency winter housing and shelter through the passage of House Bill 5201.

"Every Oregonian deserves a safe, warm place to sleep at night. With this funding, we hope to provide emergency shelter for those experiencing homelessness as we continue to take steps to increase our supply of affordable housing." said Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley).

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