Portland's newest City Commissioner is making a move to tackle the city's housing crisis head-on.
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who ran her campaign largely on housing issues, is proposing a new city ordinance that would add protections for people facing no cause evictions or big rent increases. Eudaly says she is a renter herself and her plan is the only tool left to stabilize the rental market.
Amanda Potter has been living in her southeast apartment for years, but now, she's caught in the grip of Portland's housing crisis.
"I have two kids, we’ve been in this apartment for 10 years. It's a family of four living off one income. And they’re jacking up the rent, and they’re trying to get us out," said Potter.
Potter says soon she'll have to pay a 10 percent rent increase or find a new place to live.
"I don’t have a couple extra grand laying around to help me relocate when I haven’t had proper time to save for that," said Potter.
To help Portland renters, Eudaly has proposed an emergency ordinance.
The new ordinance would work by having landlords pay a renter's moving fees if they were evicted for no reason, or if a renter decides to move out after their landlord increases their rent by 10 percent or more within a years time.
"Housing...safe, stable, affordable housing is a basic need. I, and many people, consider it a human right, and we have to strike a balance between affording landlords their rights and freedom and protecting our people," said Eudaly.
Eudaly says she's heard from several landlords about her proposal. Some support it, others do not.
"We fully expect a lawsuit and we're very confident that this ordinance is defensible. There's no preemption on relocation fees. We are in no way taking away rights of landlords, they can still have no cause evict, they can still raise the rent as much as they want," said Eudaly.
Potter says if the proposal passes it would protect her and her family, and help her stay in the community she's grown to love.
"Getting relocation costs would be great except for if you don’t want to leave and want to stay, then them being imposed a fine for kicking someone out for no reason, if they knew they had to pay $5,000 to help somebody move, maybe they would think twice about displacing people for no good reason," said Potter.
FOX 12 spoke with one landlord who says the ordinance would unfairly punish property managers because they too have increasing expenses to keep up with.
Eudaly's proposal will need a unanimous vote at next week's City Council meeting to pass. If it does, it will take effect immediately.
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