Earlier this week, the Newberg City Council heard an informational presentation on a proposed construction excise tax (CET) that the city would use to support the development of affordable housing. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, and the unfolding economic downturn impacting Oregon, HBA asked the city to delay moving forward with drafting an ordinance until the fall. The COVID-19 pandemic is causing severe economic disruption throughout Yamhill County and Oregon. Home building, like many industries, is facing an uncertain future. Nationwide, home construction in March suffered its worst monthly decline since 1984 as housing starts fell by over 22% from the previous month. This downturn in construction is attributed to many factors including, but not limited to, supply chain interruptions for material coming from East Asia, reductions in available capital, and wavering consumer demand. In addition to delaying the CET conversation, HBA asked the city to analyze two system development charge (SDC) administrative reforms that would meaningfully reduce the cost of building new housing. The first, which was recently adopted by the City of Tigard and is under active consideration in several Washington County cities, is the collection of SDCs prior to the issuance of certificate of occupancy rather than at issuance of building permit. The second, also under consideration by local jurisdictions, is the vesting of SDC rates upon the submission of land use review applications. Together, these reforms would reduce the cost of producing new housing, without impacting the SDC amounts that Newberg receives. To learn more about the proposed CET and HBA’s SDC reform proposals, contact Ezra Hammer at firstname.lastname@example.org.