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For a long-time, Oregon has been known as great place to live at a great price. In addition to having miles of untouched nature to appreciate, the state also boasts a large job market, innovative innovation, and progressive values. Last month, when Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a historic bill to increase the minimum wage, living in Oregon became even better.

Image of Portland Oregon sign.

Different parts of the state will see different wage increases. At $14.75, Portland will see the greatest leap.

Different Rates for Different Areas

Previously the minimum wage was $9.25–a price that was markedly better the USA minimum of $7.25, and better than over half of the states in the country. With the new bill, the minimum wage will increase at different rates in different areas. In Portland, where the median price for housing has skyrocketed in the past several years, the minimum wage will jump to $14.75. In smaller cities and midsize counties, the new minimum will jump to $13.50, and in rural areas, the wage will increase to $12.50.

The wage will have it’s first bump up to $9.50 in rural areas and $9.75 everywhere else on July 1, 2016. We will see the remainder of the wage increase gradually over the next six years, landing at its targeted levels in 2022.

President Obama had the following to say:

“I commend the Oregon Legislature and Governor Kate Brown for taking action to raise their state’s minimum wage…That’s progress…But Congress needs to keep up with the rest of the country. They need to act, and finally give America a raise. And until they do, I’ll continue to encourage states, cities, counties and companies to act on their own to support hardworking families.”

Oregon’s minimum wage increase exemplifies the progressive values and forward-thinking of the state. It’s yet another demonstration of the government is working in synergy with businesses to help residents achieve the best lifestyle possible.

But in terms of new laws being signed, the wage increase isn’t the only good news for homeowners and renters in the Beaver State.

More Good News

Another law makes it more affordable to rent and own homes in the state. House Bill 4143, makes it so landlords are unable to increase rent in a month-to-month tenant’s first year and requires a notice of 90 days in advance following that year. So whether you are new to Oregon or are just changing homes, you can live your first month free from the fear of rent increase. Another bill, now makes it possible for local governments to require affordable housing in new multi-family developments, and yet more laws will stimulate affordable housing and will empower homeowners just outside of annexation borders.

Oregon has consistently outdone itself as a place where it is not only great to live, but also affordable. These most recent developments only strengthen its case.

Along the lines of affordability, please check out Change Realty–home of the 1% listing fee!–for current Portland Metro Area listings.


Bill Gaffney