We are a team of multicultural and multigenerational grassroots tenant leaders that are deeply concerned about the growing housing instability experienced by very low to middle-income renters throughout Oregon.
We are committed to addressing the structural root causes of housing insecurity, mass evictions, and houselessness.
Our forums are a place for tenants to come together and envision new models for community based housing and build collective power to win policies that address our housing crisis.
Our Legislative & Policy Team is a research-based think-tank and lobbyist group grounded in the understanding that renters with lived experience of housing injustice are experts on the issues they face.
We began in 2018 as SE Portland Renters in Action, a neighborhood grassroots group, just before Oregon's landmark passing of Senate Bill 608, capping annual rents at .7% + CPI (consumer price index).
Summer of 2019, we conducted a Renter Vulnerability Study in the Lents Neighborhood in partnership with the Community Alliance of Tenants and Portland State University's Schools of Social Work and Urban Studies. We wanted to find out: How long can renters with incomes at or below 30% - 50% MFI afford rent increases of 7% + CPI, or approx. 10% annually? Renters said, "We are very worried about no longer being able to afford our housing."
Renters across Portland-Metro joined our quarterly Renter Open Forums. We began working towards finding solutions to our growing housing affordability crisis.
March 2020, we moved on-line following Gov. Brown's stay-at-home mandate. We are working harder than ever, to find long term solutions and ways to support our fellow renters during this challenging pandemic crisis.
Our mission is to create new housing models that support the needs of all members of our communities and shape housing legislation to achieve equitable access and long-term housing stability for low-middle income Oregonians.
We believe that no-one should lose their home because of major illness, job loss, or having to stay home to care for sick loved ones.
We believe everyone should be able to access and maintain safe, stable housing, no matter their income level, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.
We seek to create new models for community-based housing that support the needs of all members of our communities and that align wages with housing costs. It's time to end rent burden, mass displacement, and houselessness.
Working together, we aim to advance bold housing legislation, policies, and practices and begin building a better future for ourselves.
The time to ACT is NOW!
The lifting of the eviction moratorium set for June 30th looms heavily in the minds of renters who have been furloughed, lost their jobs, had their hours cut in half, or were underemployed or unemployed prior to the COVID Pandemic shutdown.
While anxiously awaiting the July 6th deadline, many are asking, "How long can we hang on, before we are evicted?"
Already rent-burdened, low-medium income renters, who were working several jobs, who were barely hanging on to their housing before the pandemic, fell behind in their rent for the months of March, April, and May. Renters are not only terrified of the impending threat of eviction--- but outraged.
"We don't have any money to pay-back-the-rent in 6 months."
A statewide tenant-led coalition sponsored by the Community Alliance of Tenants is underway, advocating for support to renters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oregon Renters in Action's Legislative and Policy Team is creating easy ways for renters to voice their concerns directly to lawmakers.
Go to our Take Action Page to:
The COVID-19 shutdown has stalled the Renters Open Forum in-person meetings, causing us to cancel the March and June 2020 Forums. All future meetings will now take place online via Zoom Conferences.
This new way of organizing has put significant constraints on us: "I miss having our meetings altogether with our neighbors and fellow renters discussing issues while sitting down and sharing a fresh home-cooked meal," says Ona Harshaw, our food service volunteer and newest member of our planning team.
Online meetings can increase our capacity for outreach and community participation, once we get the hang of things. In many ways, it is less time consuming and labor-intensive. However, it can pose a barrier for people without access to computers, smartphones, or internet service.
The high-stakes impact of COVID-19- job-losses, unpaid rents, and the looming threat of mass evictions in the coming months gives renters major incentives to find creative ways to organize together to keep their homes.
"KEEP OREGONIANS HOUSED"
Join Our Campaign by adding your name to our letter to Governor Kate Brown.
We are asking Governor Brown to Extend the Emergency Eviction Moratorium and enact 8 other important emergency provisions to protect at-risk tenants who have lost their jobs, are underemployed, and have no viable way to meet the 6- month rent payback deadline.
Help Us Keep Tenants Housed
YOUR VOICE IS POWER!
Renters with no job, no money, whose rent went unpaid and are unable to meet the 6-month rent pay-back are in danger of eviction. Please
In this pandemic environment, tenant organizing and mobilization are generated more and more through independent, grassroots autonomous networks via social media and cell phones.
. JOIN OUR TENANT ACTIONS!
Lawyers from the Oregon Law Center and Legal Aid Services of Oregon,
explain how tenants are temporarily protected from eviction during the 90 day COVID-19 stay-at-home executive order issued by Gov. Kate Brown March 22, 2020.
Get the latest information from the CDC, COVID-19 Do's, and Don'ts.
As family members, good neighbors, and tenant advocates, in service to others, maintaining our health and self-care is vital.
Renters are facing many pressures and growing uncertainties about the Coronavirus, the economy, jobs, and staying housed. Learning where to find resources and support in our community is essential.
https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/Pages/agency-covid19-resources.aspx" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Find Help: Oregon Housing & Community Resources
Sign up to receive Updates, Action Alerts, and Renter Forum Calendar.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.