Will Oregon Democrats Betray Renters ?

By Shamus Cooke of Portland, Oregon. Shamus is an organizer for Portland Tenants United.

Oregon’s housing crisis is suffocating the state, and Democrats have the power to fix it. But will they? The Democrat-dominated legislature is discussing pro-renter House Bill 2004, which passed the House but faces a precarious future in the Democrat-led Senate, where the staunchest opponents are also landlords (Democrats need zero votes from Republicans, who are unified against the bill).

House Bill 2004 is simple: it makes rent control legal, allowing local municipalities to craft their own policy (there is currently a statewide preemption). It also makes no-cause evictions illegal, giving tenants basic due process in the eviction process (though it still allows landlords to use for-cause evictions for tenants that don’t pay rent, damage property, break laws, etc).

House Bill 2004 is also ‘revenue neutral’, meaning it would cost taxpayers nothing. In actuality it would likely save taxpayers millions a year, since it would relieve pressure from the homeless crisis by keeping people in their homes.