Multifamily NW Successfully Negotiates Bipartisan Emergency Heat Relief Bill

SB 1536 was signed by Governor Brown on Friday, March 24, 2022

Dear Multifamily NW members,

Good news! With the passage of SB 1536, the emergency heat relief bill, Multifamily NW has secured one of our most significant policy wins in some time.

SB 1536 had a broad supporting coalition, with members coming from various local governments, environmental groups, community organizations and other advocacy associations around Oregon. Thank you to our government relations committee, staff and partners who worked hard on negotiations around this bill to make it manageable for housing providers.

We know how much of a burden Oregon’s regulatory system is, and we are grateful for the collective effort it took to successfully manage this legislation.

Now, housing providers across Oregon will have access to resources to establish voluntary cooling centers for tenants during heat waves, and new financial and practical incentives to install cooling equipment in units. Other components of the bill direct housing providers to allow portable air conditioners in all units and outline alternative compliance options for those that can’t support such equipment.

It’s important to note the tireless work that went into making sure this bill was the only change to rental housing law this session. We had several troubling proposals on our radar as the session approached, but as a result of our associations’ advocacy work during the most recent special session in December, the chairs of the House and Senate housing committees agreed to limit the scope of rental housing policy bills in the short session. We held them at their word.

Of course, the work continues. But it’s important to recognize legislative accomplishments, especially when they are achieved through such a team effort. If you have any questions or would like to be involved in our advocacy efforts, please get in touch.