New Oregon legislation makes it easier to save for a home

Medford, Ore.–One of the biggest takeaways from Oregon’s recent legislative session is the efforts to combat the state-wide housing crisis.

Perhaps most notable is a new program that aims to boost the amount of homeowners in the state by creating a savings account for first-time homebuyers. It allows a person to put aside $10,000 a year and up to $50,000 over a 10-year period towards a down payment. All of the money in the account would be tax-free.

Access Housing Director Joe Vollmar said he doesn’t believe the savings plan will provide an immediate fix for the housing crisis, but said it’s an added benefit that will help more people in the future.

“When the market actually levels off or when we get more inventory and things like that, it’s going to set them up in a much better position to turn around and get into a home,” Vollmar said.

Vollmar noted that a lot of people are struggling with the constant rise of rent prices. He said if more people were able to get out of renting and into their own homes, it may cause less headaches down the road.

“It gives them the opportunity to really know what they’re spending on a monthly basis and have something consistent for many years,” Vollmar said. “Home purchasing is something I think people take a lot of pride in.”

Other parts of housing legislation include increasing affordable housing options and programs to help the homeless and boost services for veterans.

In total, the Oregon legislature carved out $1.73 million for communities to identify ways to ease the housing crisis.

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