Owning the Issue. An opportunity for Regional Collaboration
November 1, 2021
The Legislative Committee of the Board of Directors for the COG, put on its second “Convening,” on October 28th, 2021. The topic was Housing. The availability and the affordability of housing in the Mid-Willamette Region while certainly front and center in our conversation, is an issue that is dealt with by both the Public Sector (think local zoning laws, Urban Growth Boundaries, and the public services that support these) and the Private Sector (think those that provide the product of housing, the supply chain for same, the workforce that supports the building of and maintain of same, and the financial sector that supports all of this). Part of our effort in our convenings is to be that of a neutral convenor. The second part is to put topics in front of our membership that “To enable elected officials of our member governments to jointly identify issues and needs which are regional in scope; achieve concurrence for cooperative actions; plan and recommend potential action to address areas of intergovernmental concern such as health, safety, welfare, and growth.” So, part of our Convening was asking our Panel Experts what they would recommend the COG consider as part of our Legislative Priorities for the Region.
One of the suggestions made was that of “owning the issue.” Owning the issue of HB 2001 and 2003 at the Regional Level and creating a platform for Collaboration to engage in dialogue about the best ways to create best practices, engage solutions to unintended consequences and create collaborative efforts with partners, both public and private to create affordable and available housing in the Mid-Willamette Region. This is a worthy overarching goal and along with some very practical “asks” from our other panelist, will help to shape our Legislative Agenda for the COG, which is due for a review and update by the COG Board in December (see Current Legislative Agenda). We also believe that it will shape our workplan with our Membership.
What is HB 2001, HB 2003 and Goal 10?
HB 2001 and HB 2003 Final Report and Goal 10 of the Statewide Housing Goal is now out and many groups in our State and in our Region are working with the requirements and effects of these objectives have on the availability of and the affordability of housing in our Region.
Specific to this are the results of the Regional Housing Analysis and the Local Governments Roles in Land Use and Comp Plan and Housing Production Strategy’s. Secondly, how our Regions members should work with others, such as OHCS, DLCD, Realtors and Homebuilders in the Marketplace, and other NGO’s who are working on various parts of these strategies to include homelessness, weatherization, workforce housing, lending services, housing services. Lastly, how do we mitigate the effects of these Strategy’s in our jurisdictions of less than 10,000 Residents and the utilities that support them now and into the future.
The “Ask”: We are asking each of our program participants to identify issues, needs, and government actions which are: regional in scope, related to the topic, and require cooperative actions, that the MWVCOG should consider.
1. Kim Travis, Oregon Housing Community Services
2. Jeremy Rogers, Oregon Board of Realtors
3. Colin Cortes, Senior Planner, Woodburn
4. Heidi Bell, Donald/Sheridan
5. Mike Mortor, Wildlife Recovery Ombudsman, Oregon Office of Emergency Management
6. Ethan Struckmeyer, Housing Planner, DLCD
Homelessness is something that affects every municipality in the country, urban and rural alike. In an effort to understand how to best help, the founders of the Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance (MWVHA) found a need for an organization to help coordinate the individual efforts in our communities, and to find ways to encourage the filling of gaps in the system. Today, MWVHA is a local Continuum of Care organization that has as their mission: to develop an evidence-based system of services, including stable housing, designed to meet the unique and complex needs of adults, youth, children, and families in Marion and Polk counties who are at risk of or are experiencing homelessness.
On September 21st, Janet Carlson, Board Administrator for the Mid-Willamette Homeless Alliance (MWVHA), gave a presentation on the work done by the MWVHA over the past couple of years.
For more details on the MWVHA, please see their webpage: MWV Homeless Alliance