Mary Contrary

THINK IT'S HARD to find a home in Portland? At least you're human! Monster advocacy groups are reporting that, in Portland's tight rental market, they're receiving complaints from houseless monsters that landlords are discriminating against them just for being who they are.

Take Werewolf, for example. Over the summer, because of record-high temperatures, he kept his shiny coat trimmed short. Werewolf said he was thrilled when, in June, he found an apartment he could actually afford in an air-conditioned building. This living situation would allow Werewolf time to grow his fur out for colder weather. Sadly, Werewolf received an eviction notice for non-compliance after his landlord claimed he was an illegal pet. When Werewolf tried to explain it was his name on the lease, and he was in fact not a pet, his landlord callously told him he didn't care, and had to move out anyway. (In fairness, the neighbors had been complaining of missing chickens.)

Three-headed Cerberus isn't having much luck either. He says he's been looking for a place to lay his heads for months—but every time he finds an apartment that seems promising, the landlord jacks the rent, saying the home is advertised for single occupancy. Having two extra roommates (even if they're attached to the same body) means coughing up more cash.

Igor—an ever-eager and long-suffering laboratory assistant—isn't paid very well by Dr. Frankenstein, and he's getting priced out of East Portland. Igor has lived in the same dank basement apartment for the last 200 years, but recently the building was sold to a California investor who served the entire complex with no-cause evictions so he could remodel the crumbling structure. Now Igor says he's facing a fate worse than death: moving to Gresham.

Dr. Frankenstein, on the other hand, is making money hand over fist in his practice. In fact, a September article in the Portland Business Journal reported that the average pay for a physical scientist in the Rose City is $112,990 a year—which is just barely enough for him to afford his two-bedroom, two-bathroom digs at Southeast's posh Lower Burnside Lofts.

Frankenstein isn't moving, though, because he and his neighbor, Dracula, have a good thing going. Dracula has plenty of fresh blood to prey on as naïve millennials flood into Portland, and Frankenstein uses their parts to cobble together new monsters who will work for cheap in the area's burgeoning tech industry.

The only Portlander who's got it made is the Mummy. The Mummy's been in Portland, he says, "forever"—which isn't true, considering he was clearly born in Egypt—but his family money got him a cool old Victorian house in the Northwest. Sure, he pays nearly $4,000 a month in rent for his four-bedroom (he lives there alone), but when he needs cash he just sells a gold ingot from his father's tomb in the basement.

"I love the Northwest," the Mummy mumbled. "It's easy shambling distance to the gym and my favorite bars. But if I couldn't live here, I—and everyone else around me—would die."


More Welcome to Portland, Monster! articles:

Welcome to Portland, Monsters!

How to Apologize for Being a Monster

No-Cause Evictions Affect Monster Population

Portland's Most Haunted New Developments

Monster's Pot Review (for Monsters)

A Short History of Portland's Most Famous Monsters

Portland's Most Overrated Cemeteries

Stop Riding the Bus Wrong, Monsters!

The Top 11 Places Where Monsters Meet Other Monsters