August 21, 2009
Portland's African American Alliance for Homeownership (AAAH) hosted Governor Kulongoski this morning for the signing of two important bills for Oregon's housing community.
The Commissioner joined Sen. Suzanne Bonamici, Rep. Paul Holvey, and Cheryl Roberts, Executive Director of AAAH, at the signing.
Senator Bonamici has been a tremendous leader on housing and consumer issues. Commissioner Fish was pleased to work with her and to co-author an op-ed for the Oregonian in early May making the case for more robust foreclosure protection for renters.
SB 628 brings lenders and borrowers together to explore loan modification as an alternative to foreclosure, and HB 2189 protects borrowers from predatory lending practices by requiring all loan officers to be licensed with the state of Oregon and restricting misleading adverstising.
The consumer protection legislation signed into law by Governor Kulongoski today will adress some of the largest barriers faced by borrowers in our community. During the first half of 2009, Oregon ranked 11th in the nation in foreclosures, with Multnomah County hit hardest. Over the past three years, foreclosure rates have steadily increased across Oregon, and particularly in communities of color.
Local organizations as well are working to help renters and homeowners get free, reliable counseling to avoid fraud and explore all options for staying in their homes. Information about upcoming community events for homeowners and renters can be found on the Portland Housing Bureau website.