January 2023

Bend City Council adopts mandatory home energy score program
Despite concerns voiced by COAR, the Bend City Council voted unanimously on December 21 to approve a mandatory home energy score program in the City of Bend. Effective July 1, 2023, the program requires that “All covered buildings that are being listed publicly for sale are required to obtain a home energy score from a state-licensed home energy assessor.” Dating back to the City’s first introduction of the Community Climate Action Plan in 2016, COAR has been a vocal advocate for incentives and voluntary community actions focused on energy efficiency versus a requirement that sellers obtain a home energy score. For more information, see the program details and FAQ from the City of Bend below, and watch for updates from COAR as this issue progresses. A special thanks to the many members who contacted City Councilors to share concerns and provide feedback.
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Video: Lawmakers kick off Oregon's long 2023 legislative session
The 82nd Oregon Legislative Assembly convened for the 2023 Legislative Session Tuesday, January 17. The first week was primarily focused on informational hearings that covered key topics, including barriers to housing production, affordable housing, evictions, and planning for the state’s future housing needs. Learn more about what's happening in Salem in this week's Oregon REALTORS® Advocacy Minute.
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Crook County growth second-fastest in state
Crook County is the second-fastest growing county per population percentage growth in the state in 2022. One of the state's fastest-growing counties for several years in a row, Crook County grew 2.22%, from 25,595 to 26,162 people, an addition of 567 residents.
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Government Affairs “roadshow” classes focus on election outcomes and key issues
On January 31, COAR Government Affairs Director Tyler Neese will kick off a six-stop “roadshow” of government affairs updates. Offered in cities throughout Central Oregon, this CE class examines some key election results and the implications for real estate, as well as important legislative and regulatory issues for REALTORS® to understand. Upcoming classes include Redmond and Sisters on Jan 31, Prineville and Madras on Feb 1, La Pine on Feb 14, and Bend on Feb 15. Learn more and register at the link below. Eastern Oregon members, stay tuned for dates and information regarding government affairs classes in your area!
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife could face lawsuit over spotted frog protections
Last week, the Center for Biological Diversity - a Tucson, Arizona-based nonprofit - sent a formal notice to two federal agencies who signed off on the Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan, which is designed to protect the spotted frog and several species of fish that inhabit the Deschutes River. The Center wants the agencies to make changes to the plan, stating that it lacks teeth to be sufficiently effective. The Center informed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation that it intends to sue them for Endangered Species Act violations.
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Bend Community Survey: Homelessness and affordable housing top concerns
Every two years, the City of Bend commissions a Community Survey, which serves as one of many inputs to City Councilors in their two-year goal-setting process. The findings show that Bend residents like living in Bend - strong majorities have positive things to say about their quality of life in the city: seven in 10 respondents rate the city as a good or excellent place to live. At the same time, residents have become less positive about the quality of life in Bend over the past two years, saying addressing homelessness and increasing the availability of affordable housing were the top concerns they want to see addressed.
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Webinar: The Issues Impacting Real Estate at the Local, State, and Federal Levels
In city halls and county buildings, the state capitol, and Congress, key policy is being crafted and passed that has significant implications for the real estate industry. On February 15, 10 AM - 11:30 AM, join staff from COAR, Oregon REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS® for a virtual legislative update focused on your industry. Speakers include Brock Nation, Policy Director with Oregon REALTORS®; Zack Rubin-McCarry, Political Representative with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), and Tyler Neese, Government Affairs Director with COAR. 1.5 CE.
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Government Affairs FAQ's

Have an issue that you feel we should be monitoring or taking action on? Are you interested in getting involved in COAR's government affairs efforts? Contact COAR's Government Affairs Director, Tyler Neese, at tyler@coar.com or 541-382-6027.

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