Advocacy group declares "renter state of emergency" - KPTV - FOX 12

Advocacy group declares "renter state of emergency"

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A group representing Portland renters has declared a city-wide emergency due to skyrocketing rents and frequent evictions.

The Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) called on the City of Portland to enact “immediate measures to provide relief against displacement.”

The organization said it has received reports of building-wide evictions, with property owners then making renovations and increasing rents.  The result is the displacement of lower income families, who then struggle to find a new place to live.

Juan Gonzalez, who attended a community rally calling for action at Peninsula Park Tuesday evening, was one of several tenants recently evicted from the Brentwood Pinecrest Apartments, which were taken over by new owner.

“They just put a paper on the door that says we have to move out.  They gave us two months,” said Gonzalez. “They don’t think about the families, how it’s going to affect the families.”

Gonzalez said he has yet to find a new home, and had to move his family of five into a spare room at his sister-in-law’s house.

To address situations like Gonzalez’s, CAT is calling for a moratorium on what it calls “no cause terminations” for one year, as well a mandatory minimum period of one year on rent raises over 5 percent.

City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the Housing Bureau, was not available for comment Tuesday, but staff members said he is preparing an announcement for later in the week that will address the issue.

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