PORTLAND Ore. (KOIN) – After low-income tenants in affordable housing units at the Prescott Apartments in North Portland exposed that their landlord was implementing 50% rent increases, the tenants now tell KOIN 6 News the landlord is no longer increasing their rent for the remainder of the affordable housing program.  

Kelsey Schreiner is a single mother raising her 4-year-old daughter in her one-bedroom apartment.

Schreiner and dozens of others in the city’s affordable housing program were facing a nearly 50% rent increase — reaching upwards of more than $400 for some tenants.

Schreiner formed a union among the tenants in the affordable housing units. KOIN 6 News followed along for weeks as they hosted rallies, demonstrations, had meetings and passed out flyers — calling on their landlord to make a more reasonable rent increase.

“So, we’ve fought really, really hard for the last two months and this new agreement for us means we get to keep our homes,” Schreiner said.

After the tenants turned down two previous offers, this week, Green Cities Company agreed to rescind the rent increase altogether for the remainder of their affordable housing program.

The MULTE affordable housing program at the Prescott apartments expires in the summer of 2024.

“We as a union, as renters, were able to make this happen — it wasn’t the city stepping in — it was our actions, it was the media attention that we got that put pressure on our landlord that made this happen,” Schreiner said.

Housing Commissioner Dan Ryan said in a statement:

“All good policy change requires dialogue with people on both sides of the issue,” said Commissioner Dan Ryan. “I appreciate the collaborative spirit of Green Cities to work with tenants and our office to find a thoughtful solution for Portland renters. We are focused on keeping people housed. Each of us has a part to play.”

Looking ahead, Schreiner and tenant rights advocates say they want to make sure the city implements policy changes to protect thousands of other tenants that could soon go through a similar experience to Schreiner’s.

“That is a failed policy and there’s no excuse not to address it urgently,” said tenant rights advocate Margot Black.

They’re asking the city to limit affordable housing rent increases to 5% and adjust relocation assistance money to an amount that reflects true moving costs in 2022.

But for now, Schreiner is glad, she and her daughter have a home to go back to.

KOIN 6 News reached out to Green Cities Company more than dozen times in the past month and have not heard back.