PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Local families and Oregon lawmakers met Saturday afternoon to discuss the region’s housing crisis.
They were joined by several non-profits including Stable Homes for Oregon Families. The group talked about the scope and scale of the crisis and ways to address it during the 2017 legislative session.
Legislators heard about the person impact of evictions and rent hikes from people who have dealt with it.
Mother of 2 Koya Crespin lives in a North Portland apartment and says they are facing a no cause eviction.
“It’s a family building, there are several families who have already left,” Crespin said.
She said she is going to fight so her family can stay in their home.
“It’s really scary and we just want to find a way to change this so working families are not waking up and afraid of these no cause evictions,” Cresipin said. “Because, really mid school year can be detrimental to their kids lives.”
Karin Power is a representative for House District 41, which oversees parts of SE Portland, Oak Grove and Milwaukie. She says one of the ideas to help the housing crisis is to create a system of rent stabilization.
“We have far too many Oregonians who are experiencing rent increases and housing instability,” Power said.
Her idea would allow local leaders to design rent policies that would need the need for their community. She said this would be different from rent control.
“This is a 21st century measured approached,” Power said. “Preventing a displacement that would help create economically stable neighborhoods while allowing landlords to receive a fair rate of return on their investments.”
Power said she was priced out of Portland herself and has heard from people who are being priced out of Milwaukie as the MAX orange line has made it a more desirable place to live.
In Portland, the City Council is already taking action to protect tenants. On February 2 they passed an ordinance to make landlords pay thousands of dollars in moving costs to tenants forced out by no-cause evictions.
That ordinance also requires payment if a landlord raises the rent 10% or more within a year, forcing the tenant to move.
A group representing landlords in the are is challenging that new rule. They will file a lawsuit Monday claiming this is a form of rent control, which is banned by state law.