RE: "Pay Up or Get Out" [News, June 10] regarding the sharply increasing, uncapped rent prices in Portland, and the resulting displacement of its most vulnerable citizens.

My rent went up and I started daydreaming about Detroit. About getting that $500 house, investing and rebuilding it into something my own, all for next to nothing. I would finally have time to turn my hobbies into businesses. But at the end of the day I would still be in Michigan, a red state. I'll work my butt off to stay here.

Posted by AmigoDeego

Rent control is not the answer. It just locks people into living places they no longer want to live because if they move they will lose their below-market rent.

Posted by econoline

THE MERCURY RESPONDS: Not necessarily! See this week's news story, "Out of Control" for more dispelled rent control myths.

I see a lot of articles on high rent prices, but what I don't see in any of them is the mention of the landlords charging the rent. For new homeowners whose mortgage is high, charging higher rent seems reasonable, but I have to assume the majority of rentals are owned by people who have lower mortgage payments, and [they] just rake it in and let their greed carry them away.

Posted by burtreynlds

I am a landlord in Portland. The last few years I have seen a new Multnomah county business tax. Also skyrocketing water bills and property taxes. Since I can't go bankrupt and stay a landlord, I more and more raise the rent. I am not netting more money! The city, county, and water, however, are netting vast surpluses.

Posted by than

It's going to get worse before it gets better. Thanks a lot, Portlandia.

Posted by kimchi

Don't forget AirBnB and Vacasas rentals. Tourists get to rent whole houses while Portlanders are forced into apartments the size of hotel rooms. Taxes go unpaid. It won't solve all our problems, but we could house about 5,000 Portlanders if we killed the leeches that are AirBnB, Vacasa, and VRBO.

Posted by Reverend Bite Me

It costs a lot to live in a city, and this is not a Portland-only issue. We are finally catching up with other major West Coast cities from a cost of living perspective, and the acute pain comes because the catch up is happening so rapidly. It isn't driven by Portlandia episodes, ice cream shops, or any other popular scapegoat. It is simple economics driven by the changes in Portland's economy and people's discovery that we have (had) all these great amenities at a discounted cost of living to the rest of the West Coast.

Posted by JTR

The difference between Portland and all those other West Coast cities is Portlanders still make drastically less money. The "catch up" process is two pronged, and we've only got the one—the skyrocketing rents.

Posted by ptown native


DEAR MERCURY—I set forth to conquer the beautiful Sunday that lay ahead of me. My plan was simple: Pick up this week's copy of the Mercury, wander to the park, and enjoy a romantic picnic for one in the sun. I walked past a few of my usual pick-up points, only to be disappointed. "Well, at least they aren't having any trouble with circulation," I calmly thought to myself. Then I approached my last option: a box on the corner of NW 21st and Flanders. Empty. My beautiful plan, shat on in the blink of an eye. "Must I REALLY resort to a WW?!" I thought with dismay as I reached to open their box. Then, lo and behold. A most serendipitous moment. Only one copy lay in that box... and it was a Mercury. Thank you, oh gods of entertainment and information, for your divine intervention so I could continue with my day—nay, life. 

Alisha Holland

THANKS FOR SHARING your harrowing ordeal, Alisha! Glad it all turned out well in the end! You win this Week's Letter of the Week, of course—including two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater—because how could we resist?