Deschutes County donates land to Redmond for housing (copy)

SALEM — The Oregon Legislature has approved a measure expanding options for the development of affordable housing.

The final version of Senate Bill 8 was passed by the Senate 25-5 on Tuesday. It previously passed the House and now heads to Gov. Kate Brown.

The bill restricts local jurisdictions’ ability to deny affordable housing developments on land not zoned for residential use within urban growth boundaries and allow for increased density in certain situations.

The bill makes it easier for public housing authorities, nonprofit organizations and religious institutions to push affordable housing projects through local zoning and conditional use development processes.

Senate President Peter Courtney, the measure's chief sponsor, said the effort is about more than creating new opportunities for affordable housing; it’s about creating them specifically where they’re needed.

“If the only apartment you can afford is two towns over and a 70-minute car ride to your work, I don’t think we’ve solved the problem,” Courtney said in a statement. “SB 8 is about building affordable housing where people want to live.”

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