As Tenants Plead, Lawmakers Are Pledging Housing Help This Year

Here's a Rundown of What You Can Expect

Comments

1
Thanks for this coverage! If you aren't satisfied with what's going on in Salem around housing, this Friday at 4:30 at Portland's City Hall Portland Tenants United will be hosting a rally and march "Eviction Free 2016".

https://www.facebook.com/events/5260355242…

We are showing up to protest persistent racial discrimination in even accessing housing, which happens directly through straight up denial on account of race. We are protesting ignored cases of retaliatory or discriminatory eviction that happen under the cloak of "no cause terminations". Lastly, Portland Tenants United is going to announce the time and location of our open house, happening on the 30th. We are committed to forming a city-wide tenants union to defend tenants where they live (and not just in court), to fight being treated like second-class citizens, to pressure landlords to enter collective bargaining agreements, and with time and numbers wield collective economic power to advance housing as a human right, which means ending no-cause terminations and ending the ban on rent control.

https://libcom.org/blog/portland-tenants-u…
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> which means ending no-cause terminations and ending the ban on rent control.

No-Cause evictions are absolutely critical to landlords keeping properties and tenants safe and addressing long term issues and the large number of bad renters. A blanket ban will cause a host of issues. In my neighborhood there have been three buildings with no-cause evictions lately - all of them known by the police as "crime hubs." The evicted are bike thieves, car thieves, drug dealers, and gang members with violent reputations causing violence on the property and in the neighborhood. A For Cause eviction of these people are impossible to get because the burden of proof in on the landlord and involves going to court with its associated legal fees. If the the police can't get concrete proof on these people to arrest them, there is no way a landlord is going to be able to do so either.

In the case of my neighborhood, crime over all has dropped significantly after these evictions went through. All three landlords spent thousands of dollars making them happen, and are still on the hook for thousands more to clean up and rehab those properties. There are still several more properties that need tenants evicted for the same reason.

Yes, no-cause evictions are abused by a small number of landlords. But outlawing them totally AND putting in rent control is going to cause two problems. The burden on tenants is going to be even higher - much larger security deposits, stricter background checks, mandatory higher levels of renters insurance, etc. The merest hint of a red mark on a potential tenants record is going to be a denial for rent. AND, it is going to reduce the number of available units even more as landlords realize they can't afford their buildings and take them off the rental market. Or, worse yet, they will have no incentive to fix problems because tenants are locked into below market rents that barely make the mortgage payment much less make enough extra money to pay for repairs.

You have to fix the problem by advocating for more infill, more development, and/or a general discouragement of people moving here. Oh, and don't forget about voting to keep property taxes at their current levels because that drastically effects the landlord's bottom line also.

Also get some financial help in for landlords to make repairs to decrepit building. Below market rate loans for major issues like roofing and new windows. Cash help for moderate repairs like replacement of plumbing issues or replacing/fixing appliances. And lastly, a way for landlords to recoup the real costs of bad tenants who cause more damage then their security deposit pays for that doesn't involve the frequent certainty of bad tenants not paying anything anyways after they've been to court.

Until demand for rentals goes down, these problems are going to keep going on. While coming from a good place, your ideas of ending no-cause evictions and rent control are bad policy and will make things much worse.
3
"No-Cause evictions are absolutely critical to landlords keeping properties and tenants safe and addressing long term issues and the large number of bad renters. A blanket ban will cause a host of issues. In my neighborhood there have been three buildings with no-cause evictions lately - all of them known by the police as 'crime hubs.' The evicted are bike thieves, car thieves, drug dealers, and gang members with violent reputations causing violence on the property and in the neighborhood. A For Cause eviction of these people are impossible to get because the burden of proof in on the landlord and involves going to court with its associated legal fees. If the the police can't get concrete proof on these people to arrest them, there is no way a landlord is going to be able to do so either. "

If landlord doesn't have proof of wrong-doing, they have abso-fucking-lutely no business evicting people. Cry me a river of crocodile tears about the oh-so-tedious-burden-of-proof that prevent landlords from evicting people from their home FOR A LEGITIMATE REASON. Your argument (not even yours, because it sounds like astro-turf conservative talking points from City Council) is disgusting, based on a lie (that landlords can't evict PROVEN criminals or lease violators), and is a carte blanche for discrimination and retaliation.