Tag Archives: Salem

‘Unemployed need not apply’ ads targeted by state lawmakers

By Amanda Waldroupe, Staff Writer

Need a job to get a job? According to some companies, that’s how it works, and it is perfectly legal. Even as the unemployment rate languishes between 8 and 9 percent, employment ads have been popping up across the country advertising that the jobless need not apply.

In Salem, a bill that would prohibit employers from publishing print and online job advertisements that explicitly ask unemployed people to not apply for the job is moving its way through the Legislature this month and is likely to become law next week.

Advocates say Senate Bill 1548, which is being called the “Fair Employment Opportunity Act,” is sorely needed in order to not discourage Oregon’s unemployed and to give them an equal shot at getting back to work. Continue reading

Inclusionary zoning combines social justice, community health

By Jon Ostar, Contributing Columnist

On May 24, Oregon House Bill 3531 got its first public hearing in Salem. HB 3531 repeals the statewide prohibition on inclusionary zoning. Inclusionary zoning is a practical tool that allows local jurisdictions to require that affordable housing units be built along with market-rate housing. In return, cities and counties can provide developers with variances and benefits, such as density bonuses, fee waivers and permit expedition in order to offset the cost of including housing units at affordable levels. The appeal of inclusionary zoning is that it allows local communities to customize a housing policy that meets the needs of their residents. This tool is an effective response to “exclusionary” development practices, which, combined with urban renewal policies, prioritize market-rate urban development at the expense of affordable housing.

Inclusionary zoning is not a new practice. The tool was first used in 1974 in Montgomery County, Maryland, where the inclusionary zoning ordinance has created over 10,000 affordable housing units over the past thirty years. The use of this tool is also widespread. It is estimated that there are approximately 400 local jurisdictions across the country using some version of inclusionary zoning policies. The popularity of the tool is due to its flexibility: from the number of affordable units required to the income levels which qualify for the housing, jurisdictions can tailor the tool to meet their local needs. It can work for urban, suburban and rural areas alike. The tool is also effective as an alternative housing creation opportunity that relies on a public-private sector partnership rather than on federal dollars or public subsidies. Continue reading