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Gresham City Council task force investigating backlash against tenants using rental inspection program.

FILE PHOTO - A local apartment complex is shown here. Gresham City Council is investigating allegations that community members who utilized the city-run Rental Inspection Program may have faced retaliations in the form of rent increases or evictions.

"It was created because of retribution, so if it's still happening that needs to be solved immediately," said Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis.

Catherine Nicewood, president of the Rockwood Neighborhood Association, said the problem is that when someone uses the program, it is easy for property managers to see who complained because the inspection singles them out. A city task force recommended doing multiple inspections at once to obscure things.

"The safety of tenants is extremely important," said Councilor David Widmark. "We have a responsibility to provide safe, affordable housing."

According to the Housing Task Force, the cost of rent in Gresham compares favorably to other municipalities in the region. Data from the 2017 U.S. Census shows a median gross rent for local apartments to be $1,112 a month, including utilities.

That is about $100 less than Portland and $130 less than the Metro Area.

Click here to read the full story in the Gresham Outlook.


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