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April 15 2021
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Oregon Lawmakers Approve Bill To Turn Hotels And Motels Into Housing, Shelters
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Story by Lauren Dake - Story Source
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  Turning Hotels And Motels Into Housing, Shelters Converting motels or hotels into emergency shelters or long-term affordable housing  
 
SALEM, Oregon - The bill would pave the way for converting motels or hotels into emergency shelters or long-term affordable housing even if current zoning laws would prohibit doing so. The building must, however, be within the city's urban growth boundary.

Oregon state lawmakers approved a measure on Wednesday that embodies the times we are living in: The bill would ease the ability to convert hotels and motels — pummeled by the coronavirus pandemic — into long-term affordable housing for people who lost their homes in the wildfires or who are otherwise unhoused.

Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, who sponsored House Bill 3261, and represents a region where 2,500 homes were wiped out in Oregon's 2020 wildfire season, said the ability to quickly turn some hotels into emergency shelters has been "a godsend."

"This allows us to repurpose hotels and motels that have housed tourists to house the most vulnerable," Marsh said on the House floor. Read full story