Mayors, council members, commissioners join state legislators who support limiting no-cause evictions
Salem, Ore. – As the legislature enters its final full week, local elected officials across the state, including mayors, city councilors, county commissioners, and school board members are urging lawmakers not to leave Salem without passing legislation to help keep families in their homes and reduce homelessness amidst a statewide housing crisis. Over 40 officials sent the joint letter to Senate President Peter Courtney, who has so far refused to let the bill move to the Senate Floor for a full vote after it was approved by the Senate Rules Committee. Also copied on the letter were other members of the Senate leadership.
Full letter below:
July 4, 2017
All Oregon State Senators 900 Court St. NE Salem Oregon 97301
Dear Esteemed Colleagues of the Oregon State Senate:
We are writing to urge your support of HB 2004B, which will limit no-cause evictions and provide basic fairness and stability to the forty percent of Oregon’s residents who live in rental housing.
As state and local elected officials, the most urgent issue we continually hear about from constituents -- at town hall meetings, in letters and phone calls, and in everyday conversations -- is that our families need relief and security in their struggle to keep a safe, stable place to call home.
Clearly, Oregon is experiencing an affordable housing crisis, with renters bearing the burden of a booming market that gives great power to those who own and control property. Thousands of families have had their lives completely up-ended by massive rent increases and no-cause evictions, and many have been pushed into homelessness. Without this bill, landlords will continue to be able to use no-cause evictions to discriminate or retaliate against families of color, those with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, and tenants who simply ask their landlord to make legally required repairs. According to the Portland Housing Bureau Housing Choice Survey, sixteen percent of households in the Portland tri-county area were forced to move, against their wishes, within the last five years. We also know that the average African American, Native, and Latino household can no longer afford to live within Portland city limits without being severely cost burdened. The ripple effects of this housing insecurity and displacement extend to our places of worship, neighborhoods and schools.
HB 2004B will not prevent landlords from evicting tenants who violate the terms of their rental agreements, however, it will protect families from losing their homes through no fault of their own. Tens of thousands of families are looking to us to respond decisively to the housing crisis as we face a reality where some investors and landlords are profiteering with impunity, while vulnerable families and children suffer the burden.
Please do not leave Salem without taking this simple, common-sense step to protect our families, and pass HB 2004B. Oregon’s renters deserve the basic right of housing stability.
Ted Wheeler Nick Fish Mayor of Portland Portland City Commissioner
Chloe Eudaly Amanda Fritz Portland City Commissioner Portland City Commissioner
Dan Saltzman Deborah Kafoury Portland City Commissioner Chair, Multnomah County
Sharon Meieran Jessica Vega Pederson Multnomah County Commissioner Multnomah County Commissioner
Mark Gamba Angel Falconer Mayor of Milwaukie Milwaukie City Councilor
Lisa Batey Wilda Parks Milwaukie City Councilor Milwaukie City Councilor
Shane Abma Sam Chase Milwaukie City Councilor Metro Councilor
Bob Stacy Kay Brooks Metro Councilor Medford City Council
Tom Koehler Amy Konhstamm Chair, PPS School Board Vice Chair, PPS School Board
Scott Bailey Paul Anthony PPS School Board PPS School Board
Mike Rosen Rita Moore PPS School Board PPS School Board-Elect
Tom Anderson Chris Hoy Salem City Council Salem City Council
Sally Cook Greg Malinowski Salem City Council Washington County Commissioner
Dick Schouten Andrea Valderrama Washington County Commissioner David Douglas School Board Lucy Vinis Sarah Westover Mayor of Eugene Phoenix City Councilor
Barb Campbell Nathan Boddie Bend City Councilor Bend City Councilor
John Stromberg Emily Berlant Mayor of Ashland Talent City Councilor
Dennis Slattery Karin Power Ashland City Councilor Oregon State Representative
Tawna Sanchez Alissa Keny-Guyer Oregon State Representative Oregon State Representative
Susan McLain Diego Hernandez Oregon State Representative Oregon State Representative