Tenants group demands rent freeze, shares ‘Renters Bill of Right - KPTV - FOX 12

Tenants group demands rent freeze, shares ‘Renters Bill of Rights’

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Many people in Portland are feeling the pinch of rising rent, and Friday a group of labor and community leaders, along with a newly elected city commissioner, asked the city to act immediately to improve the situation.

The group, Portland Tenants United, feels urgent action is needed to protect tenants from being evicted and to stop rapidly rising rents.

Friday they handed out a Tenants Bill of Rights to express what needs to be done, and several people spoke, including Commissioner-elect Chloe Eudaly.

Eudaly has been a renter for 10 years, and she said the rising cost of rent led her to seek office.

“The days of treating tenants as used furniture, the days of treating tenants as human ATMs, the days predicating the business model on the unfettered right to exploit us are numbered,” she said.

Another speaker was Elizabeth Theil, who is the vice president of the Portland Association of Teachers. She said teachers in her organization see the rent crisis impacting students.

"The stress and anxiety of the housing crisis impact children at least as much as it does their parents and the adults who care for them,” Theil said. “It impacts their ability to engage in school, and impacts their brain development."

PTU wants emergency action to freeze rents, as can happen by state law in a natural disaster.

The group said they also want standardized rental applications and screening criteria, an office established to mediate disputes between renters and landlords and an end to no-cause evictions.

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