Council to consider controversial tenant reforms Wednesday
The City Council will consider the most recent versions of Commissioner Chloe Eudaly's newest tenant reform proposals on Wednesday, June 12.
Both measures are controversial. They are supported by many renters and housing rights advocates but opposed by many landlords, their organizations and some developers. The city attorney's office also has identified potential legal problems with some of the provisions.
The measures are intended to increase housing availability people who have been historically marginalized by regulation the application process, preventing landlords from refusing to rent to people with criminal convictions in some cases, limiting how much income landlords can require tenants to earn, imposing rules on security deposits, and more.
Tenant advocates say they reforms are necessary to prevent discrimination. Landlord advocates says state and federal laws already prohibit such discrimination, and the new requirements will increase rents and reduce the amount of rental housing.
"Two different studies from Pew and Boston University found a strong correlation between rent burden, eviction levels, and ultimately housing instability. What Eudaly's proposal would do is expand the number of rent burdened households in Portland — according to the empirical research we've looked at — that would lead to more evictions and housing instability," Multifamily NW Executive Director Deborah Imse said.
The City Attorney's Office has issued an opinion that says some of the provisions are vulnerable to court challenges that could requirement the city to pay the plaintiff's attorney's fees.
It is unclear whether more changes will be proposed at Wednesday's hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 10:35 a.m.
The proposals are items 558 and 559 on the counci's June 12 agenda here.
You can read a recent Portland Tribune story on the issue here.