Housing Assistance, Veterans Day, Session Accomplishments & More


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-413, Salem Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
Email: sen.floydprozanski@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/prozanski
e-Bulletin                     November 2021

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Dear friends,

    Veterans Day is coming up on Thursday, November 11. More than 325,000 veterans call Oregon home. I believe we have a responsibility to support our service men and women. Details on local and statewide Veterans Day events are included below.

    The Legislature is scheduled to hold its next set of "Legislative Days" during the week of November 15. Committees will meet virtually for informational hearings and to preview legislation for the 2022 regular session. Agendas will be posted and links to live streams available on the Legislature's website. The Senate will meet in person to consider confirmations of the Governor's appointments to various boards and commissions. As with this year's special sessions, social distancing and face covering rules will be followed when the Senate convenes.

    The last couple months have seen significant progress on the vaccine front: Booster doses are now available for eligible individuals, and children 5-11 years old are now able to receive the Pfizer vaccine. (Lane County has released a clinic schedule for kids to receive the vaccine.) To learn more about boosters and whether it's recommend for you, click here.


    As you've probably heard, rollout of the state's Emergency Rental Assistance Program  in response to COVID-19 — has not gone smoothly. Oregon has received more than $200 million in federal funds but the Department of Housing & Community Services is facing a major backlog in processing. I have been meeting with advocates and support legislative action to address this backlog to keep Oregonians in their homes. Put simply: People who have applied and qualify should not wait months for assistance. Below in this e-bulletin you'll find a summary of legislation passed last session to address the housing crisis as well as resources from U.S. Department of the Treasury's Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program.

    On October 1, I joined other local elected officials to test ride electric bikes in Eugene. As a cyclist, this was my first opportunity to ride and learn more about e-bikes, their practicality and impact on traffic congestion, not to mention getting people outdoors and e-bikes' functionality in helping address climate change. I have further engaged event organizers, including the Oregon Environmental Council, to collaborate on how policymakers can support the safe use of e-bikes on Oregon roads and paths. 

    Below you will find information on:

        - Veterans Day Events
        - 2021 Session Accomplishments: Housing Access & Affordability
        - Emergency Rental Assistance Programs
        - Health Coverage Open Enrollment
        - Public Meeting for Holiday Farm Fire Survivors: Energy Efficient Rebuilding
        - Share Your Experiences About Prescription Drug Prices
        - State Scholarship & Grant Applications Now Open
        - Business Oregon Announces Recipients of Rural Entrepreneurship Funding

    I hope this information is helpful and informative for you or someone you know. As always, feel free to share your comments, questions or concerns with me by phone, mail or e-mail.

                                                               Sen. Prozanski signature

Veterans Day Events

    To all those who have served, I say thank you. The following events are planned in Senate District 4 and Salem, respectively:


    "11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month"
    Location: Veterans Memorial Association Building (1626 Willamette Street)
    Time: 11:00 a.m.

    Douglas County Veterans Day Parade
    Location: Downtown Roseburg
    Time: 11 a.m.

    Umpqua Community College
    Veterans Day Concert
    Location: Jacoby Auditorium
    Time: 3:00 p.m.


    The Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs (ODVA) will honor all veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces during the 2021 Statewide Veterans Day Celebration, which will return to an outdoor and in-person format this year, within public health guidelines.

    The event will feature remarks by federal, state and local leaders along with ceremonial elements such as a color guard, national anthem, wreath presentation and the playing of "Taps." It will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 10 — the day before Veterans Day. The event will be hosted at the Oregon State Capitol Park located on Court Street Northeast in downtown Salem, directly in front of the Oregon State Capitol Building.

    While this year's ODVA celebration will honor Oregon veterans of all eras, there will be a special focus on the contributions of Vietnam War-era veterans. The event will be followed by an optional walking tour of the site of the future Oregon Vietnam War Memorial, led by Vietnam War Memorial Fund President Steve Bates.

    The event is open to the public and limited seating will be provided for attendees. Accessible pathways and seating areas for those needing accommodations will also be provided. Attendees are reminded to wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and plan accordingly for Oregon weather. For those unable to attend, the event will also be livestreamed on ODVA's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/odvavet.


2021 Session Accomplishments: Housing Access & Affordability

    Continuing my summaries of bills passed during the 2021 legislative session by subject area, I'm happy to share this comprehensive listing of accomplishments related to housing access and affordability. As noted above, a special session for possible adjustments to some of these measures is being considered. Here are the relevant bills by Senate/House bill and in numerical order:

Senate Bills

    SB 278 - COVID Rent Assistance Protections: This legislation creates 60-day eviction protections for tenants awaiting rental assistance and provided a risk guarantee for landlords during that timeframe. The measure also retroactively and prospectively increases reimbursement from the Landlord Compensation Fund from 80 percent to 100 percent.

    SB 282 - COVID Response Rent Repayment Period: During the third special session of 2020, the Legislature passed HB 4401 to create a qualified extension of Oregon's eviction moratorium for nonpayment of rent until June 30, 2021, and establishing the Oregon Landlord Compensation Fund. SB 282 (2021) extends the tenant grace period for repayment for back rent until February 28, 2022. This measure also creates tenant screening protections and temporarily eased restrictions on non-tenant guests in rental units.

House Bill:

    HB 2006 - Easing Siting Requirements for Emergency Shelters: Oregon's percentage of unsheltered homeless individuals is one of the highest in the United States. A 2019 Urban Institute report found that 24 percent of homeless individuals in Oregon had no access to shelter at night. During the first special session of 2020, the Legislature enacted HB 4212 to provide temporary shelter to individuals and families lacking permanent housing. HB 2006 (2021) expands transitional housing and supports shelter development. It requires local governments to approve emergency shelter developments under certain conditions and includes motor vehicles in parking lots or at facilities that allow overnight stays within the definition of transitional housing.

    HB 2009 - COVID-Response Residential Foreclosure Moratorium: During the first special session of 2020, the Legislature passed HB 4204, establishing temporary limitations on lenders being able to enforce default remedies on obligations secured by mortgages or other contracts, and allowing the Governor to extend these protections up to December 31, 2020. HB 2009 (2021) extends these temporary mortgage payment deferral and foreclosure protections and authorizes the Governor to continue these protections until December 31, 2021, by executive order.

    HB 2364 - Manufactured Dwelling Park Sale Requirements: Manufactured homes serve as one key feature of Oregon's affordable housing market. As of 2017, there were roughly 141,000 manufactured homes in Oregon representing 8 percent of the state's housing inventory. When a manufactured home facility is sold, manufactured homeowners may be left to relocate at their own expense. This legislation provides more time for tenant organizations and owners to communicate with respect to certain aspects of the process when a manufactured dwelling park is for sale and provides damages of 10 percent of a park's sale price if an owner fails to comply with process requirements.

Emergency Rental Assistance Programs

    If you are a renter having trouble paying your rent or a landlord who has lost rental income due to challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, help may be available. Through funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program, there are a wide variety of state and local programs that offer assistance — including financial assistance — to those who are struggling to make ends meet.

    Provided below are links to learn more about ERA programs area, including how they work and who is eligible, as well as other important information to help you navigate these difficult times. ERA programs can vary based on locale since flexibility is given to states to develop programs that best suit the needs of their communities.

  • For more general information on assistance programs, visit:
    https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/mortgage-and-housing- assistance/.

  • For local ERA program links, visit:
    https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/mortgage-and-housing- assistance/renter-protections/find-help-with-rent-and-utilities/.

  • To get answers to frequently asked questions, visit:

    For renters: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/mortgage-and-

    For landlords: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/mortgage-and- housing-assistance/help-for-landlords/.

  • To speak with a no-cost Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counselor who can help you understand your options, make an action plan, and even help you apply for rental assistance, call 1-800-569-4287 or visit https://www.consumerfinance.gov/find-a-housing-counselor/.


Health Coverage Open Enrollment

    Oregon's Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment is now "live." You have until January 15 to enroll, review coverage or make changes at https://healthcare.oregon.gov.

Public Meeting for Holiday Farm Fire Survivors: Energy Efficient Rebuilding

    On October 28, I joined the Oregon Department of Energy (DOE) for a virtual public meeting to discuss and inform development of the Energy Efficient Wildfire Rebuilding Incentive. This new program was created by the Legislature to support energy-efficient rebuilding of structures lost during the 2020 Labor Day fires. DOE staff provided and overview and sought feedback from survivors on questions like:

  • How can the program be designed to best support wildfire survivors rebuilding in a way that saves energy and lowers their energy bills?
  • How is energy efficiency being considered by wildfire victims as they seek to rebuild?
  • Are residential and commercial structures being rebuilt to current building codes, or are people taking advantage of the ability to rebuild to the 2008 building code?
  • Should DOE consider providing low-income wildfire victims a higher level of incentive to offer greater support for communities struggling to rebuild?
  • If you are currently working toward rebuilding, would you consider building beyond current code to make your home more energy efficient and improve long-term, lower energy bills?
  • How can the application process for a program like this be made convenient and accessible?

    Thank you to everyone who joined us and shared your input!


Share Your Experiences About Prescription Drug Prices

    The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) is asking for the public's help before its third annual public hearing on prescription drug prices. DCBS set up this brief survey for consumers to ask questions and share their stories about rising prescription drug prices: http://dcbspage.org/RxStories.

    Drug prices play a major role in health care decisions of Oregonians and the cost of prescription drugs have steadily increased in the past 10 years. DCBS wants to know what questions Oregonians have about the increase in prescription drugs and how has it affected you and your family. A public hearing is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, December 8.

    The Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act (ORS 646A.689), which I was happy to support, directed DCBS to establish a transparency program to accept reports and disclose certain information from prescription drug manufacturers, health insurance carriers, and consumers on drug prices. The goal of the program, which is part of the Division of Financial Regulation, is to provide accountability for prescription drug pricing through the notice and disclosure of specific drug costs and price information from pharmaceutical manufacturers, health insurers, and consumers.

    For more about the program, go to https://dfr.oregon.gov/drugtransparency. Information about how to participate in the virtual hearing will be available there, as well.

State Scholarship & Grant Applications Now Open

    The Higher Education Coordinating Commission's Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) has opened the OSAC Scholarship Application for the 2022-2023 academic year. Students can now apply for OSAC Scholarships, the Oregon Promise Grant, the Oregon Child Care Grant, and other state grant programs.

    OSAC administers more than $130 million in state-funded grants and privately-funded scholarships to help Oregon students meet their college expenses. New and current postsecondary education students can find links to the grant and scholarship applications at OregonStudentAid.gov.

OSAC Scholarships:

    OSAC has made accessing scholarships easy for Oregon students with its catalog of more than 600 privately funded scholarships. Students can apply for up to 40 scholarships through a single online application. Scholarship funds are available for graduating high school seniors; undergraduate and graduate college students; GED students; undocumented and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students; home-schooled students; community college and vocational school students; adult learners returning to school; and more. Students must apply online at OregonStudentAid.gov and submit a completed OSAC scholarship application and all other required materials by the final deadline of March 1, 2022, at 5 p.m. (PST). Students who submit their applications by February 15, 2022, at 5 p.m. may be entered in a drawing to win a $1,000 OSAC Early Bird scholarship.

Determining Need — FAFSA or ORSAA:

    Many scholarships and most grants require completion of either a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA).  Every new and returning student must complete one of these two applications to be considered for state and/or federal financial aid, including loans. ​Most students applying for aid complete the FAFSA to determine their state and federal financial aid eligibility. Students with undocumented status, including those with DACA status, instead fill out the ORSAA — Oregon's alternative to the FAFSA. The information provided on the FAFSA or the ORSAA will determine students' eligibility for the Oregon Promise, the Oregon Opportunity Grant, and numerous scholarships. Information provided on the ORSAA is secure and confidential, and shared only with Oregon colleges and universities that students list on the ORSAA.

Oregon Opportunity Grant:

    The Oregon Opportunity Grant is Oregon's largest state-funded, need-based grant program. The grant supports low-income students (both recent high school graduates and adult learners) pursuing undergraduate degrees at eligible public and private colleges and universities. Oregon Opportunity Grants are awarded until funds are exhausted, so students should complete either the FAFSA or ORSAA as soon as possible to be automatically considered for the grant for 2021-22.

Oregon Promise:

    Students receiving their high school diploma or GED equivalent in the near future, as well as recent graduates, may be eligible for the Oregon Promise Grant. Oregon Promise helps students pay for tuition at any Oregon community college. Most students must apply for Oregon Promise during their senior year or immediately after GED test completion (see full Oregon Promise deadlines). Students must meet minimum GPA requirements and enroll in a community college no later than six months after graduation. Interested students must complete an Oregon Promise application and submit a FAFSA or ORSAA by their designated deadline. Depending on program funding, awards may be limited to those under a certain Estimated Family Contribution threshold.

Additional Grants:

    OSAC also administers grants for special populations including current and former foster youth (Oregon Chafee Education and Training Grant), current members of the Oregon National Guard (Oregon National Guard State Tuition Assistance), dependents of deceased or disabled public safety officers (DDPSO), and students raising children while taking college courses (Student Child Care Grant).

    OSAC strongly encourages students to apply for financial aid as soon as possible to maximize their opportunities to be awarded. If students have any questions about financial aid, they can reach out to OSAC via osac@hecc.oregon.gov. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions can also be found at OregonStudentAid.gov

Business Oregon Announces Recipients of Rural Entrepreneurship Funding

    Following a competitive application process, Business Oregon selected 20 Oregon communities to receive a total of approximately $1,609,200 in funding from the Rural Opportunity Initiative (ROI) program. ROI is Business Oregon's strategic effort to empower rural communities to support entrepreneurs and small business growth. That support comes through financing, innovative partnerships, network expansion, capacity support, and access to business development resources. ROI strengthens entrepreneurial ecosystems within and across Oregon’s rural communities with a particular emphasis on diverse populations and low-income households.

    Small businesses and entrepreneurs drive rural economies, and are a major source of economic opportunity as well as resiliency. ROI's "whole community" approach helps entrepreneurs thrive in the good times and recover faster and stronger following disruptions. In lieu of a one-size-fits-all approach, ROI reflects community priorities and acknowledges that the best people to determine the right approach for a community are the residents themselves.

    ROI is an investment in the vision of rural communities and aligns with Business Oregon’s strategic plan to innovate Oregon's economy, grow local businesses, cultivate rural economic stability, and champion opportunity for underrepresented people.

    Business Oregon received many strong applications and each was thoroughly reviewed, discussed, and scored by an evaluation committee prior to a final award decision. Listed below are the three recipients of 2021 ROI funding in Senate District 4:

  • Aprovecho  Aprovecho will engage local stakeholders, assess regional restoration forestry entrepreneurial ecosystems, and design a reforestation forestry entrepreneurial boot camp to prepare enterprising individuals to establish businesses in this emerging field.

  • Bohemia Food Hub (BFH) BFH will continue to support low-barrier access to food-based entrepreneurship for underrepresented people, enhance organizational capacity, and build and strengthen partnerships to improve cohesiveness among resource providers.

  • Veneta  the City of Veneta will support value-added, food-based entrepreneurship by investing in a new culinary lab and providing business coaching and mentorship, as well as access to markets and events to stimulate demand for local products.

    Rural communities often encounter capacity issues. ROI aims to address that by providing each community access to a program consultant to support their entrepreneurial ecosystem building goals. In addition to the ROI program, following the recommendations outlined in the agency's 10 Year Innovation Plan, Business Oregon will be supporting development of Regional Innovation Hubs over the next couple of years to propel region-specific innovation and entrepreneurship. The Hubs will be focused on supporting traded sector, innovation-based, early-stage companies within a regional ecosystem, and will complement ROI by enhancing access to resources and technical expertise as well as providing a gateway to other state-funded programs.

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