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Plus, other cities fear Portland housing solution and greater survey input wanted

The changes City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly made to her most recent renter protection measures did not satisfy the leading landlord organizations.

The City Council first heard Eudaly's measures for easing screening and security deposit requirements on April 3 and 4. Although tenant advocates supported them, landlords complained about their complexity and charged they could require them to rent to serious criminal convicts.

Eudaly pushed the next hearing to Thursday, May 23, to work out compromises.

It didn't work. Multifamily NW, the major lobbying group representing Portland area landlords, still opposes the revised measures, arguing that they don't address their concerns. The organization also complains the revisions were not released until Monday, May 20, a mere two days before the May 23 hearing.

But then the hearing has been postponed until 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30, to allow the council to vote on next year's budget.

The council vote cannot take place until the next week, at the soonest.

Other cities fear housing solution

The 2019 Oregon Legislature is considering House Bill 2001, which would prohibit exclusive single-family zoning in larger cities to encourage the construction of so-called missing middle housing, such as duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes. The bill, sponsored by Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, who represents much of North and Northeast Portland, is similar to the recommendations of the Residential Infill Project heading to the City Council.

But, as Oregon Public Broadcasting reported, Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa thinks the state shouldn't tell cities how to make zoning decisions. She said the bill is trying to force a Portland solution for the housing crunch onto smaller cities like hers.

"We're the ones that know what would be a good fit for our community. And we spend years trying to be able to plan for our community and looking long range," Konopa told OPB.

Greater survey input planned

The city is inviting all residents to participate in the annual Portland Community Insights Survey this year.

The satisfaction and livability survey is conducted each year to give the mayor, the City Council and city bureaus information about the priorities of residents and how city government can improve its programs.

Questions range from the greatest challenges facing Portland to recommendations about how specific city bureaus can improve their operation. The survey also asks about difficulties facing the respondents and their involvement in city programs.

The survey has traditionally been conducted among a limited number of residents by the City Auditors Office. It has been redesigned this year by the City Budget Office as an online survey open to everyone from May 8-28.

The survey also will be conducted in Portland communities with the help of a multilingual crew of 40 canvassers, including students from Portland State University, Portland Community College and local community leaders.

The survey can be taken online at https://www.research.net/r/PDXspeaks.

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