Activists Demanding New Rent Controls Shut Down a Multnomah County Commission Meeting


"As we've noted, the law applies to a disaster that "materially eliminates a significant portion of the rental housing supply." Portland's issues are largely based on failing to build housing, not eliminating existing housing."

That's pretty disingenuous interpretation of what's happened, Dirk. Landlords raise rents. They are not laws of nature like the tides. The affordable housing stock that WAS there now ISN'T. It has been torn down or landlords have you know made them not exist by making them not affordable. Portland's landlords wouldn't have to raise their rents 10-50% just because supply is tight, unless you take greed and exploitation as basic features of how housing markets are supposed to work. Either you did a shitty job listening or someone screwed up and didn't tell you: this crisis is a man-made disaster. Landlords, developers, and real estate investment interests have made it.
Renter occupied housing units, per ACS (one year data)
2010 114,431
2011 122,773
2012 116,693
2013 118,706
2014 125,019

2015 data isn't available, but realistically what's it going to show? Is it going to show the number of rental units dramatically falling? If not, it's tough to see how a significant portion of the rental housing supply has been eliminated.
I am also a city council candidate (position 1) and was also there. I'm the woman in the gray shirt holding the sign up in front of Jules Bailey in the video you posted.
Also, I saw Sean Davis and can confirm he was there. At a past mayoral forum, Sean talked about a pregnant woman who was squatting in a Hawthorne house that was demolished. She was there today - the woman who is eight months pregnant and testified about being in the Hawthorne house where another woman died. I met her afterward and have put the word out to her and other women who are pregnant/have babies and would otherwise be on the street that I have a safer place for them. We are challenging the ban against backyard camping in Portland.…
ohh dear lord has the small town/ small minded attitude of Portland ever been so present. Look, wall street is not to blame for your problems - we are as we hold the vast majority of power yet operate horribly inefficiently thereby allowing opportunities to grow, opportunities they capitalize on (you'd do the same). In a similar fashion developers are just capitalizing on opportunities which you yourselves allow to grow in your own backyards. Stop crying to the government as it is their place to protect property ownership rights not to protect property owners from one another's right- it is called capitalism and sorry but you must play the game. You cannot have the best of both worlds; you cannot ask for a gov. that protects your rights to property then ask them to restrict another's just because they have more money than you. BUT you can ask the gov to roll up it's sleeves and play the market rather than controlling it by placing something on the market which has the ability to drop rental prices in a natural fashion....hmmm what could that be??

CLUE: Obviously any other town who has gone through this has not found it otherwise their rents would not be double ours. Thus, we must think outside the tiny homes box.

Funny they point the finger and hold a sign, yet when you listen to what they are asking for you quickly realize they are not asking for anything new, thus they are irrationally entitled to think they'd observe any new results as compared to any town that has already been there done that. Everyone wants change yet no one wants to try anything new- irony.

As the saying goes; "if you don't learn it the first time, you'll learn it again"
Civil discourse has really devolved in Portland. Everyone thinks that their issue justifies a disruption at a meeting. People like Sarah Long think that, just because they can hold a pen long enough to fill out a form to run for office, that they can monopolize the spotlight. The problem with Long's logic is that anyone should be able to disrupt anything. I hope that an anti-fluoride activist disrupts the next meeting on tenant's rights so that Jesse Sponberg sees how lame the tactic is. Sarah Iannarone is truly making a fool of herself by indulging in tactics that undermine the office that she is seeking. She should imagine what it is like to be a mayor and try and get something done when attention-seeking nobodies interrupt the work session.
"Cities, counties and state agencies may impose temporary rent controls when a natural or man-made disaster that materially eliminates a significant portion of the rental housing supply occurs, but must remove the controls when the rental housing supply is restored to substantially normal levels." - ORS ยง 91.225(5)

Any attempt at rent control like these protestors are asking for will completely fail to hold up to a legal challenge, and these politicians and protestors are either too stupid to realize it, or enjoy wasting the tax dollars that will be spent on the legal challenge that could otherwise go to something like, say, subsidizing lower income tenants.

As another poster above noted, the supply of housing units is actually increasing. And how do you define "substantially normal levels" per the statute? By the vacancy rate? The highest vacancy rate in the country (South Carolina at 10.5%) is less than 7 percentage points higher than Portland, which is the lowest in the country at 3.6%. You are within only a couple percentage points of the median, so that is "substantially normal" by any sane definition of the term.

The only "disaster" is that Portland became more popular nationally and internationally over the past decade, and there has been a resulting increase in competition for housing from people with more money than a lot of locals. This is not a "disaster," this is pretty basic supply and demand at work.

None of this is to say I am not sympathetic to people who find themselves in dire circumstances due to lack of housing, but the solution should be to apply a general tax across the entire population to support city- or state-owned affordable housing, not to levy yet another tax on property owners only by forcing them to subsidize someone else's living in their own private property at below-market cost. You don't get to go on "mortgage strike." You don't get to freeze a mortgage.