Connection Between Homelessness & Disabled Veterans

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Senator Alan Olsen

Hello Friends,


Connection Between Homelessness & Disabled Veterans.  


I want to share my guest opinion article with you about this persistent growing problem. 

Veterans represent a disproportionate number of the homeless population.  According to the US. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2018, 18 out of every 10,000 veterans were homeless.  In Oregon the average rises to 43 out of every 10,000 Veterans.  Oregon continues to have the third-highest percentage of unsheltered homeless veterans, with 55% sleeping outdoors.

To address this issue, I have introduced Senate Bill (SB) 500, with bi-partisan support from Senator James Manning(D) Eugene, which proposes a reasonable and significant solution to the threat of homelessness facing Oregon’s veterans. 

The legislation provides an increased property tax relief for disabled veterans and their spouses.  In 1975, the deduction for disabled veterans was $7,500.  At that time, the average home value in the United States was $37,200- which is approximately a 20% deduction.  In 2019 the deduction for disabled veterans was $15,000 with the median price of homes in Oregon at $328,900.  In other words, the property tax deduction for disabled veterans is now only 4.5%.  The benefit has become minuscule relative to need.

SB 500 Testimony

Click on the link below to watch Senator Olsen & Senator Manning testify at the hearing for SB 500.

(SB 500) Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemptions Hearing - Video

When our military is called upon to fight wars and defend our freedoms, they should never have to come back to the stress of losing their home nor should their widows have to struggle to pay property taxes.

The goal of SB 500 is to help alleviate property tax burdens and therefore help veterans keep their homes.  This is just one of many steps we can take to deal with our homeless problem and support our veterans.

SB 500 updates the current disabled veteran’s property tax deduction to stay current with the cost of housing.  The bill raises the deduction and gives counties the authority to grant these deductions.

There are many ways to effectively address Oregon’s homeless problem and SB 500 is high on the list of solutions.

I'm pleased to share with you the Clackamas County Board of Commissioner's letter of strong support for SB 500: Click Here to Read

If you do not reside in Clackamas County or District 20 and would like to contact your Legislators to express your support for this bill.  You can find the bill and your Representative & Senator's contact information at this LINK


Yours truly,

Senator Alan Olsen
Senate District 20

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1720
District Phone: 503-266-4599
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-425, Salem, OR 97301
District Address: 675 Northwest 2nd St., Canby, OR 97013


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Senator Olsen's Committees:

Vice Chair of Senate Committee Environment & Natural Resources
Member of Senate Committee On Business and General Government
Chair of Senate Committee on Veterans & Emergency Preparedness
Member of the Joint Committee On Carbon Reduction