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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Next steps after OR legislators make 'groundbreaking' housing investments

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Thursday, April 18, 2024   

Oregon lawmakers passed a major housing package in this year's session, but said easing the state's housing crisis will take more work.

Bills passed during the short legislative session will send a total of $376 million to address the state's housing shortage, including Senate Bill 1530 and Senate Bill 1537, priorities for Gov. Tina Kotek.

Shannon Vilhauer, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Oregon, said the governor's housing package is groundbreaking.

"We also see important investments in emergency housing assistance, addiction recovery support and renters protections," Vilhauer pointed out. "Those are all investments that are going to help stabilize Oregonians in need of housing assistance and benefit the communities we all share."

The housing package includes funds for housing and homelessness projects and to support counties buying land and developing properties.

However, Vilhauer argued there is still more to do to address the crisis. During the next legislative session, she hopes the state will help first-time homebuyers, as well as make other investments.

"Preserving affordable rental homes that exist now but are at risk of terming out of their affordability and going market rate," Vilhauer explained. "We'd love to see that affordable housing preservation investment move forward in a strong way."

Vilhauer acknowledged the housing issue in Oregon cannot be solved immediately. It is a problem decades in the making.

"It will take a concerted effort over time to continue to make headway," Vilhauer stressed. "We're starting to get there but we need to keep going with a sustained effort."


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