Renters rally in Salem over massive rent increases - KPTV - FOX 12

Renters rally in Salem over massive rent increases

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

Oregon's housing crisis hasn't been improving in months if not years, and an area of growing concern is in the rental market. The latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show 4.9 percent of all rentals in the Portland metro area are available for rent, and that's causing problems.

An increase in demand is driving up rents across the state, with some tenants seeing rent increases close to $300-$400.

On Thursday, several dozen people rallied on the steps of the state capital asking for help.

Chris McKenzie was one of the people in the group. In July, he was given notice that he needed to leave his Tigard apartment.

"We found out that we've got to move in 90 days and don't ask any questions and just move on," McKenzie said. "That's where we started and we've been in the fog ever since."

He says his complex was sold to a California company. McKenzie along with his neighbors were given notice they need to leave.

McKenzie's story is not the only one like that shared at the capital. 

Oregon has been a destination for many moving over the last few years. A bump in population has driven up the value of apartment complexes, in turn that is causing rents to rise.

"We're seeing people's stability completely taken away from them in an effort to take advantage of a market that has really favored owners," Katrina Holland with the Community Alliance of Tenants said.

Holland adds she wants to see protections put in place like protecting renters from being evicted for no reason at all. 

"If it is something that they are doing they should have the right to fix it. If it is something that is retaliatory or discriminatory they need to have a right to legal recourse," Holland said.

Earlier this year Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law a bill that requires landlords to give tenants who have lived at a property longer than a year a 90 days notice of eviction, that is up from 30 days.

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