At Least Think Once

Many thanks for Eben Fodor’s informative Viewpoint on a potentially disastrous new law (“Think Again,” 12/26), the giant can of worms called House Bill 2001.

Most striking, for a bill pitched as a housing measure, is that it’s much more likely to destroy affordable housing than to create any. It’s worth reviewing Fodor’s explanation of this and other disasters likely to occur unless the bill is repealed.

Thanks to local legislators who voted against HB2001: Sen. Floyd Prozanski, and Reps. Paul Holvey, Nancy Nathanson and Marty Wilde.

Homelessness results from the mal-distribution of wealth and income, the shortage of living-wage jobs, the failure of governments to tax business interests equitably and a shortage of affordable housing, unlikely to be fixed without direct government action. Allowing speculators to build and sell or rent additional housing on lots now zoned for single-family homes won’t help.

HB 2001 places the whole burden of the housing crisis on the backs of less-well-off Oregon homeowners, because most “upper class” developments in Oregon have in their deeds CC&Rs (covenants, conditions and restrictions) limiting lots to one single-family home. These are safe from HB 2001.

Only those of us in “lower-class” neighborhoods face a radical upzoning.

More practically, Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are working on the housing crisis at the federal level. That’s the place to address problems national in scope, and a worthy focus for sincere housing advocates.

Robert Roth