From Senator Bonham: A $200 million band-aid

View in browser
Senator Daniel Bonham

Legislative Newsletter

Hello Friends,

Welcome back to my newsletter and thank you for reading.

$200 million band-aid for the housing shortage

In my floor speeches earlier this week, I have specifically highlighted the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis because it provides real data about the housing issues in our state. High housing costs are a big part of the tight budgets many Oregon families are experiencing, making decisions about where to live and work stressful.

On Tuesday night, the Senate convened to pass HB 2001, a homelessness bill disguised as a housing bill. The bill is supposed to produce a report showing how to increase the statewide housing supply after Gov. Kotek declared a goal of 36,000 new housing units a year. However, HB 2001 does not address the systemic market forces that are driving up housing production costs such as land supply, overregulated industry, expensive studies, and urban growth boundaries.

3.21 floor

Instead, the bill throws $200 million dollars at the statewide housing and homelessness problems, while ignoring the underlying addiction and mental health issues that many homeless people have. Data released in late 2022 showed the number of homeless in Oregon to be over 14,000.

Watch my full remarks here.

Population growth in Oregon has increased demand for the already limited supply of single-family homes. Analysts and agencies estimate Oregon is short 140,000 housing units. The limited supply in large part, stems from restrictive standards imposed by government. This results in rent and price increases for those competing for housing. Look at the housing market just a few summers ago as an example; cash buyers snapped up homes in Oregon well before hard-working families even had a chance.

According to this source, Portland is the worst city in the country for landlords due to strict policies in the state. When landlords and developers are unable to afford the cost of their investment in Oregon's housing market, it leaves zero incentive to build the multi-family units that are necessary to hit Gov. Kotek’s target. 


I asked representatives from the multi-family housing industry, "What do you want this legislative body to know?" and the response was, "Our message is housing providers want to keep people housed. We don't make money evicting people; we are the solution, not the problem." This reply is indicative of the stereotype running rampant in our state: that landlords and developers are money-hungry businesspeople, rather than an important part of the housing shortage solution.

When I look through this bill, I struggle with how many references I see to towns with populations over 10,000. I represent 140,000 people with three towns that are over 10,000 in population. This means less than 40,000 of my constituents will be considered for some of these ideals, showing that the primary focus is on the Portland area.

homeless kgw

With respect to homelessness, when are we going to address the problem of addiction? 


When are we going to invest in addiction recovery services promised under Measure 110 that also legalized hard drugs? Gov. Kotek doubled down during the election that she would focus on Measure 110. That this was the solution, that she would drive the investment through, and I've yet to see it.

My interests to serve in the legislature are driven by a desire to solve problems. I have no interest in a band-aid. I have interest in real solutions for the housing shortage in Oregon, and HB 2001 is not it.

Self-Service Gas

The bill to allow Oregonians to pump their own gas passed the House and is in the Senate. Check out my full interview with KGW on the subject here.

The urban-rural divide isn't always a negative thing.

This bipartisan bill is responsive to different parts of the state and local needs by allowing rural counties to pump their own gas, and urban counties would still have the option of an attendant doing it for them.


Right now there is a historic labor shortage, and gas stations are struggling to find people to work the pumps, resulting in longer wait times or closures. With many Oregonians ready to adapt to self service gas, now is the time.

Constituent Moments


Great meeting with the Multifamily NW group this week. We talked about SB 611, a rent control bill that will hurt housing supply by discouraging developers and contractors from working in Oregon. 

Met with the Oregon Citizens Lobby, a statewide collaborative effort by conservative citizens to promote legislative accountability.

Thank you to Canby City Councilor Traci Hensley for making it happen!


Previous Newsletters

Click Here to Subscribe to Senator Daniel Bonham's E-Newsletter.

I’ll be back with more updates soon.

Until then,

Senator Daniel Bonham, District 26

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1726
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-423​​, Salem, OR, 97301