Hundreds call for housing justice for renters at downtown Portla - KPTV - FOX 12

Hundreds call for housing justice for renters at downtown Portland rally

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Large crowds of people rallied outside Portland City Hall on Friday to demand more protections for renters. Portland Tenants United organized the rally to call for an end to discrimination, retaliation and unfair renting practices.

Rising rents and low vacancy rates helped create a housing crisis in the Rose City.

"We have very low vacancy rates, we have very bad tenant-landlord relationships and our rents are getting jacked up constantly," said protester Ocean Eale.

"We're not a corporation, we're not millionaires, we don't have money," said protester Yolandita Andre.  "It's so terrible.  Just because we may not be white, or have the funds to seek a lawyer, we're discriminated against.  Something needs to be done about this, people need to feel like they have a place to go."

Demonstrators shared stories of being homeless, about being forced out of their homes through no-cause eviction and about being discriminated against during houses searches.

They said current laws are designed to protect landlords and property management companies, while often leaving potential renters out of luck. 

"It took me six months to find housing. I was even asked not to apply on occasions. I was lied to and told I was too young to be responsible and they were really uncomfortable with kids being there and maybe the neighbors would be a little bit uncomfortable with me as a person, living there," said Chelsea DeLoney, a participant in Friday's rally, who said she has filed a complaint with the Bureau of Labor and Industries. 

After the rally, hundreds took to the streets of downtown Portland. They carried signs that said, "Homes for All" and "Portland Tenants United," while comparing no-cause eviction to "legalized discrimination." 

The march progressed peacefully, however some were seen graffiti tagging the Multnomah County Courthouse with the phrase, "Give us shelter."  The Portland Business Alliance building was also tagged. 

PTU tells FOX 12 their people were not behind the tagging, they don't condone it and they don't know who was responsible. 

The PTU plans to hold an open house on Saturday Jan. 30 from 12-3 pm at the Lucky Labrador Brew Pub on SE Hawthorne. They invite anyone interested in the cause to attend.  

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