"In one month, they had to pay the equivalent of four months’ rent."
My name is Manuel Marcos, and I am a lifelong resident of Salem and a current student at Willamette University.
Last summer, as I was planning on transitioning into college, my family received a no-cause eviction from their longtime home in Salem.
My parents were stressed beyond belief. I was leaving, but they still had three younger children, and they were terrified that they’d have to move to a new school district and completely uproot their children’s lives. And my leaving made finding a new home worse for them, because they speak limited English.
They spent time looking for housing in the same school district, but there weren’t any options. As summer ended, and the school year came, the stressed was magnified even more. Would they have to move their kids to a new community, after the school year had already started?
They hired a lawyer to get a straight answer from the landlord to a simple question: Why were they their lives turned upside down through an eviction?
My parents never got an answer, but hiring a lawyer bought them another month in their home.
Eventually they found a new place to live, in the same school district. But their new home costs more and is in worse condition. The lack of places to move increased their financial stress even more. They had to keep paying rent in the place they were being no-cause evicted from, while finding the money for a deposit, fees, and first and last month in a more expensive place. In one month, they had to pay the equivalent of four months’ rent.
They’re doing well now and found a rhythm, but this did shine a light on how their life can be turned upside-down at any minute. And the stress is still there.
My family isn’t the only one to have been no-cause evicted, and even with a lawyer they didn’t get any kind of reason. That is not just. Oregon needs to do something to end no-cause evictions, and give hard-working people like my parents some form of stable housing.