Oregon Senate passes rent control, bill heads to House
The Oregon Senate has voted 17 to 11 to pass rent control. Senate Bill 608 would cap annual increases to seven percent and outlaw no cause evictions if tenants have lived in a space for more than one year. Senators mostly voted along party lines in passing the bill.
Proponents of rent control says the bill does not go far enough. Margot Black of Portland Tenants United called the bill a betrayal, saying advocates have worked for five years to craft legislation and this is to lenient on landlords.
Katrina Holland of the Portland based Tenants Alliance cited an example of a Portland family who saw their rent increase 113 percent
Bill sponsor Shemia Fagan calls the bill a step in the right direction, claiming that basic stability is out of reach for many in Oregon.
Republican Senator Fred Girod threw his pen on the dais and walked out of the room without voting, accusing Democrats of creating a bigger mess. Republicans say the state needs to do something to improve the supply of housing, or allow urban growth boundaries to be increased. They say an increased supply of land would encourage more building, and the free enterprise system would naturally decrease rents because the housing supply would improve.