Woodstock Neighborhood Association is not a homeowners association and it is not a membership association. It is an association that is open and welcomes the involvement of anyone and everyone who lives, works, or owns property here. Because of all the comments we received on a recent Facebook post regarding a family that had been evicted from their home this winter (their school community was helping raise relocation funds via a crowdfunding campaign), we decided to dedicate our March 1st meeting to tenants’ rights.
We want to thank Margot Black of the Portland Tenants Union for responding to our invitation to speak at the meeting by creating an extremely informative slideshow to bring people up to speed on tenants’ struggles in Portland and legislation currently pending in the Oregon State Legislature that would give renters more protection from gigantic rent hikes and sudden, no-cause evictions.
Margot shared a lot about all the hoops people have to jump through just to get housing, with application fees, screening criteria, fickle selection processes, and agreement terms that give tenants very little security and undermine their stability.
She explained the difference between no-cause, for-cause, and FED, or forced-entry and detainer evictions. She said studies have shown that eviction is more often the cause of poverty than an effect.
Yes, Oregon has a number of tenant protection laws on the books, but if a landlord tramples on those rights, the only recourse is through the courtroom. Unfortunately, many renters cannot afford to hire a lawyer, and Legal Aid can only handle 18 percent of cases. Furthermore, it can take a year or more for a complaint to work its way through the system.
Did you know that, at this time, any rent increase, by any amount, is legal in Oregon? That there is no limit on the amount of a security deposit? As property values go through the roof in Portland, so do rents. This is a citywide problem that has received much coverage in local media.
Rent Stability leads to –> Housing Security, which creates –> Better Neighbors
What to do something? Here’s Portland Tenant Union’s “Quick List”
Renters Rights Hotline: 503-288-0130
Community Alliance of Tenants: http://oregoncat.org/
Legal Aid: 503-224-4086