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Commissioner-elect admits state law prohibits local rent control measures but will push for a rent freeze and ban on no-fault evictions when she takes office in January

KRISTAN FODEN-VENCIL-OPB - Several community groups rallied for immediate rent controls Friday at City Hall.Several community groups called Friday for both an emergency rent freeze in Portland and a moratorium on no-cause evictions. They inlcude Keep Portland Housed which have put together a Tenant Bill Of Rights.

The groups were joined at their City Hall rally by Chloe Eudaly, who defeated Commissioner Steve Novick in the general election. Eudaly said she would push for the freeze and ban when she takes office in January.

“The days of treating tenants as used furniture, the days of treating tenants as human ATMs … are numbered,” Eudaly said.

Eudaly admits state laws prohibit local rent control measures. But she wants city commissioners to commit “municipal disobedience,” do it anyway and fight the resulting lawsuits.

A number of lawmakers in Salem have said they’d look at various ways to control rent during the 2017 Oregon Legislature. Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler has called for the statewide ban to be lifted so cities can adopt their own policies. No bill will be considered until next year, however.

Eudaley said that when she won the election, one of her first thoughts was, “I can now afford my rent.” As a commissioner, Eudaly, a small business owner, will be paid about $115,000 a year. She said that over the last four years. her landlord increased her rent by 60 percent.

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