Portland Tenants United protests housing awards

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Tenants United is calling an awards ceremony for landlords and property managers a slap in the face.

The awards ceremony, happening Thursday afternoon at the Portland Art Museum, is hosted by Multifamily Northwest, a large rental housing group.

The housing advocacy group says too many people are falling victim to the city’s housing crisis.

PDX Tenants Unite protest Multifamily Northwest's award ceremony for landlords, May 26, 2016. (KOIN)

Dozens of protesters gathered at the Park Blocks just across the street from the museum. It didn’t take long for tempers to flare.

Tensions were high. Some choice words were exchanged as well as some apparent shoving as protesters came face to face with ceremony attendees.

Shouts calling attendees “parasite” and “bloodsucker” rang out from protesters.

“This expensive party is paid for by the renters of Portland,” protester Charles Johnson said.

For a while the group has been calling for a rent freeze and a stop to no-cause evictions. They say that the system is pushing people out of their homes.

“They’re putting people out of their homes. They’re making it unaffordable,” said Alyssa Pagan with Portland Tenants United.

“Multifamily Northwest is not a company, not an entity that people should be supporting,” Pagan told KOIN. “They’re creating the housing crisis that everyone is talking about.”

Multifamily Northwest said it continually fight regulation and house stability. A statement from Executive Director Deborah Imse said: “We have been working very hard over the past few years with people all across the state to increase the supply of housing, which will grow our economy while providing more housing, including affordable housing, for people who live here.”

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