SO YOU’VE BEEN PUBLICLY SHAMED
RE: “East Portland Tenants Are Shaming Their Rent-Hiking Landlord In Front of His Neighbors” [Blogtown, Sept 8]. “East Portland tenants desperately trying to fight a looming 45 percent rent increase took a novel tack earlier this week: shaming their landlord in his own neighborhood,” wrote News Editor Dirk VanderHart. “Members of the Ash Street Tenants Association and supportive renters’ rights advocates spent Tuesday peppering Raleigh Hills homes and telephone poles with flyers taking to task local resident Landon Marsh.” Marsh bought the building, near SE 120th and Ash, in June—and “plans to charge $1,200 for a two-bedroom apartment at the complex, a $375 rent increase that many tenants say might as well be an eviction notice.”
These people got a great deal with below-market rent for years. Attacking the new owner for charging a market rate on a property is inappropriate. It is great that theMercury redacted the phone number and address, but they should have redacted his name as well.
“These people got a great deal”? These people work every day to make the owners of a shithole rich. Something’s got to be done about the obscene rent-gouging in this city, and apparently our city council can’t be bothered to do it.
Portland Tenants United has the support of this entire community—minus the greedy landlords and their clueless apologists—to take a stand against this immoral behavior.
They weren’t paying below-market rents. Market rent has increased dramatically in the last year, and our growing lack of supply (hi Airbnb!) is pushing folks out to the margins.
No one would have paid $1,200 to live there even last year. How much would you pay to have to watch for new hypodermic needles on your way out the door every morning?
Rationalize it however you like, newcomers. But this is as unethical as it is sickening. Greed has already ruined Portland, which until a few years ago was the only American city that valued people more than profits. In short, fuck this landlord. He and his ilk (and enablers like econoline) are among the worst people on earth.
The real question is: Is the landlord breaking the law? Answer: No.
Trust me, I hate how Portland has changed and how housing prices have gone through the roof—but I also don’t agree with this whole “public shaming” aspect of our society nowadays.
Unfortunately, the landlord is doing what is within their right to do. Don’t like it? Change the laws.
THE 2015 DEATH TOLL
RE: “Deaths of Homeless People Shot Way up in Multnomah County Last Year” [Blogtown, Sept 9]. “Eighty-eight people died while homeless,” wrote News Editor Dirk VanderHart, citing the county’s annual “Domicile Unknown” report. “That’s 32 more than the year before, and the total of 2013 and 2014 combined.”
I’m not seeing a measure against the baseline population. Is the rise in deaths proportional to a change in the overall homeless population in the country? The number of deaths has increased, on average, 16 percent per year—did the homeless population increase at the same rate?
DIRK VANDERHART RESPONDS! Based on the limited snapshot we have from last year’s “point-in-time” count, homelessness did not rise at anywhere near this rate between 2013 and 2015 [“Yes, Homelessness Is Growing in Portland, But Not As Fast As You Might Think,” Blogtown, June 3, 2015].
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
RE: One Day at a Time [Sept 7], in which Ann Romano wrote about Chris Brown being a violent, misogynist asshole. Again.
I would only like to point out that in your latest One Day at a Time article, someone printed a picture of TREY SONGZ on a CHRIS BROWN story.
ANN ROMANO RESPONDS! Oh, goddammit. This is the WORST, and we feel horrible about it—absolutely NO ONE should EVER be mistaken for Chris Brown! As thanks for letting us know, Constant Reader, we’re giving you two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater. (Oh, and Trey Songz? We are SO sorry! Call us and we’ll get you some Laurelhurst tix too!)
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