Portland renters continue to see increases as city leaders look - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland renters continue to see increases as city leaders look for legislative change

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Residents of a Southeast Portland apartment building are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place, facing a 40 percent increase in rent.

Aleina Langford, who has lived in her apartment near Southeast 119th Avenue and Southeast Ash Street for three years, got a notice last month that her monthly rent would be increasing from $825 to $1200.

"I can't afford $1,200. I don't have the money,“ she said. “And I don't have the money to move either."

Langford is the latest in a long line of tenants facing displacement in Portland's housing crisis. Although she was given the required 90-day notice of the rent increase, she was allowed only 30 days to decide what to do.

"It's really stressful. I have two kids. One was recently accepted into Head Start that's nearby," she said. "They sent a notice in the mail, and the notice gives us until August 19th to make a decision."

Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick recently sent a letter to the state legislature, asking lawmakers to put an end to no-cause evictions which have displaced tenants all over the city.

“Most of the legislature is running for re-election right now,” he said. “So I want this to be an issue legislators hear about as they're campaigning.”

Novick said he also is open to the idea of rent controls, but Oregon law currently prevents cities from enacting those controls.

"I would like to be able to have that debate in Portland,” he said. “I would like the legislature to lift the pre-emption on rent stabilization so that we can have a discussion over whether that makes sense."

Langford and her fellow tenants, meanwhile, don't have the luxury of waiting on the legislature.

With help from Portland Tenants United, they walked into the offices of A & G Property Management, the company who owns the apartment building, demanding the rent increase be scaled down to 5 percent.

No one from A & G responded to our request for comment. Tenants plan to protest outside the A & G offices in downtown Portland on Friday if their demands are not met.

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