Rent reform vote set for April 25, at the soonest
The Portland City Council heard public testimony Thursday on the new ordinance that would change how landlords screen applicants and handle security deposits.
The goal is to help reduce barriers to affordable housing. Almost half the people who live in city limits are renters.
About 50 people testified, and they were split between renter advocates who supported the ordinance and landlords who said it was too complicated and restrictive. The testimony followed a Wednesday hearing with invited witnesses.
Although the council heard more than six hours of testimony over the two days, the vote is not scheduled until April 25. It could be delayed even longer if amendments are offered to the proposal.
Some of the changes in the ordinance sponsored by led by Commissioner Chloe Eudaly include having to allow a tenant who has a criminal history. Specifically, if it's been more than three years since a misdemeanor sentencing or seven years from a felony, which would include murder.
Although that change is intended to make housing available to more people, some landlords argued that not all crimes are equal and other tenants could be put at risk.
Another change eases identity restrictions. Any non-governmental document or combination would be allowed for verification of identity. There are also proposed changes to security deposits and the standards of what qualifies as damage.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.
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