Local, State, & National Advocacy
WOBA's team fights for you! We are your voice, relentlessly working to advocate all issues that affect the building industry. We work to educate, and take a stance on all levels within the government to make sure your voice gets heard.
Legislators and local leaders must push back against anti-homebuilding sentiment
Check out the newly published article in the Oregonian by none other than the Executive Officer of WOBA, Sid Leiken.
"When people have access to permanent housing, they are more likely to invest in their communities, start businesses and create jobs. Homeownership continues to be a vital tool to break generational cycles of poverty and increase equitable outcomes. But when housing is scarce and unaffordable, the ripple effects are felt community-wide, and we all suffer...."
HB 3414 at the Senate
The 2023 Legislative session came to and end today. In the last hours, the most important bill to the housing industry HB 3414 hit the Senate floor after passing out of the House the day before. Eight Republican Senators returned to take the vote and stayed strong with a solid yes. In the end, the Republicans delivered but the Democrats did not. The bill failed by one vote. There was an opportunity for the Senators to take the bill up for reconsideration, but the Senate President would not allow the motion for reconsideration ultimately leaving us with the vote as it stands. A more comprehensive legislative update will be coming your way, but I wanted to you to hear this first from me. Very disappointing but I can honestly say, we did everything we could possibly do (I’ll provide more details later).
Lane County Gas Ban Statement from the Western Oregon Builders Association
WOBA members are committed to helping create the housing our community needs to solve our homelessness and affordability crisis. We believe that actions like the surprise vote the Eugene Councilors took on Monday night do little to actually improve our climate and significantly hurt our local builders’ ability to create housing that is truly affordable for our neighbors.
WOBA opposes this ban and will work with the majority of the community to repeal it, continuing to focus on ways to truly reach our climate and affordability goals.
Final WOTUS Rule a Blow to Housing Affordability, NAHB Tells Congress
With the nation in the midst of a housing affordability crisis and an economy confronting high inflation, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) told Congress today that the Biden administration’s decision to push through a far-reaching waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule will needlessly raise housing costs, add unnecessary regulatory burdens to small businesses and harm economic growth ....
Be a Voice for Energy Choice
This fall, some members of the Eugene City Council are seriously considering demands by activists to ban natural gas heating and cooking in new homes and businesses. The City has scheduled a public hearing for November 21 about an ordinance to ban new residential gas hookups. The ban, if successful, takes away an important energy choice that we rely on.
If you believe there are better ways to fight climate change than banning natural gas, you’re not alone.
We believe there is a better path to a renewable future than bans and taking away energy choice. Energy system diversification and competition provide the best opportunity for accelerated innovation, including renewable natural gas and hydrogen.
Sign up here to let us know you plan to attend the public hearing on Nov. 21.
Submit written testimony to firstname.lastname@example.org. When submitting comments, please consider including your ward number in your email.
Send an email to your City Councilor. Click here to find your ward and City Councilor.
WHAT CHANGED FROM THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S RECOMMENDATION?
1) MAX HEIGHT: REDUCED TO MATCH SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES (30’/37') Councilor Zelenka’s motion to reduce the maximum allowable height to 30’ (37’ with roof structure allowance) passed 6-2. This makes the allowable max height of Middle Housing the same as Eugene’s single-family detached housing and statewide minimum standard. This change will impact the feasibility of some projects.
2) TRANSIT-ORIENTED INCENTIVE: REDUCED DISTANCE AND APPLICABILITY (1/4 MILE)
A series of motions reduced the application of the transit-oriented incentive. This means more housing near frequent transit will be required develop off-street parking, rather than allowing for some flexibility. Council gave direction 1) to decrease the applicable transit-incentive distance from ½-mi to ¼-mi from an EmX stop, and 2) to have this incentive only available for Affordable Housing. The motion to remove the incentive from small housing passed (5-3).
3) MAXIMUM LOT COVERAGE
Mike lead the charge to take the 75% maximum coverage recommendation from the PC, and replace it with 50%. Matt Keating countered with 60% and that is what ended up passing, 7-1.
Oregon OSHA has announced the adoption of new, permanent Wildfire Smoke Exposure and Heat Illness Prevention rules to protect workers in hazardous conditions.
Following an order from Governor Kate Brown, OSHA is directing employers to implement exposure controls, and develop training for all employees by the rules’ effective dates. Alongside this, employers must develop training for all employees regarding their own safety and defense from hazardous conditions by the rules’ effective dates.
Heat Illness Prevention rules go into effect June 15, 2022.
These rules require job site action when the heat index equals or exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Employers must develop and implement exposure controls for their workers to actively prevent heat illness, encourage them to stay hydrated, and know how to respond to heat illness. These rules also require employers to provide provisions to keep their employees safe through practical means, such as providing effective shaded/cooling areas, auxiliary cooling equipment, cooled drinking water, and emergency response if necessary.
Wildfire Smoke Protection rules go into effect July 1, 2022.
These rules go into effect when employees are, or will be, exposed to wildfire smoke where the air concentration equals or exceeds an AQI 101. Employers must develop and implement exposure controls for their workers to reduce their exposure to hazardous AQI/PM 2.5 levels and know how to respond to smoke exposure/inhalation if and when it occurs at their jobsites. These rules also require employers to provide provisions to keep their employees safe in the face of a smoky atmosphere, including providing NIOSH-approved masks and respirators, AQI measuring tools, and two-way communication tools.