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!
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Our Pandemic Response Campaign is addressing the essential support needs of lower-income, jobless renters and homeowners, who have been put at great risk of losing their homes after the Eviction Moratorium ends June 30, 2021.
"Keep Oregonians Housed" demands that state and local lawmakers create targeted policies and emergency recovery systems supporting both pandemic housing stabilization and economic recovery for at-risk-renters and homeowners.
Public Safety depends on a Housed Public
"We believe that all residents suffering the adverse impacts of Oregon's depressed pandemic economy, (through no fault of their own), who in full compliance, and goodwill, faith, and trust in policymaker decisions, MUST be fully protected against the threat and devastation of pandemic evictions and homelessness".
JOIN OUR CAMPAIGN
Tell State Lawmakers to KEEP vulnerable Renters and Homeowners Housed after the Eviction Moratorium ends on June 30, 2021.
Click the button below to go to our petition page.
PANDEMIC EVICTIONS: A Public Safety Debacle
The pandemic itself was not the fault of tenants, landlords nor lawmakers.
However, the decisions and pandemic policies instituted by lawmakers, to shut down businesses and restrict the normal flow of public movement and commerce from March 2020 thru June 2021 was part of an overall emergency public health and safety strategy.
Lawmakers botched public safety planning and disorganized and insufficient relief efforts has left tens of thousands of Oregon renters jobless, waiting months for relief, and on the verge of eviction, come June 30th, when the Eviction Moratorium ends.
Tenants are standing together and fighting back!
We're demanding that lawmakers clean up the mess they created and follow through on their committment to maintain public safety for renters and all Oregonians.
Are You at Risk of Losing Your Housing?
Renters, Homeowners, and Community Supporters are TAKING ACTION!
We are voicing the real needs of tens of thousands of vulnerable residents likey to be facing eviction when the moratorium ends on June 30, 2021, without appropriate emergency support policies.
You can help by signing up to testify, sharing your stories, demands, and support needs through online meetings with your local:
Policymakers need to hear about the gross insufficiencies in their rent relief, eviction moratorium deadline, and rent repayment policies.
Click the button below to access our Testimony Information Page.
JOIN TENANTS AND COMMUNITY SUPPORTERS
We're fighting for Housing Justice an Public Safety Protections throughout the pandemic. "Stable Housing is Public Safety."
We believe no one should lose their housing during a pandemic.
When: Tuesday, 9:30 AM
June 15, 2021,
Where: Courthouse Steps
Multnomah County Circuit Court
1200 SW 1st Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97204
Attorney Emily Rena-Dozier explains how tenants must go about submitting a Declaration of Financial Hardship to their landlord in order to avoid eviction for non-payment of rent, before the eviction moratorium ends on June 30, 2021.
A copy of the declaration can be acquired at: Oregonlawhelp.org oregonlawhelp.org/resource/tenants-declaration-to-landlord-under-hb-4401-unable-to-pay-rent-due-to-coronavirus-factors
Oregon Eviction Moratorium Extension
House Bill 4401 passed by Oregon Lawmakers, prohibits evictions for nonpayment of rent and for no cause lease terminations between January 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021.
Renters must submit a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlords to qualify for this protection.
Back Rent Repayment Protection
House Bill 4401 also creates a Landlord Compensation Fund, allowing landlords to apply directly to Oregon Housing and Community Services for 80% compensation of deferred back rent owed by all of their tenants. Landlords are required to forgive the 20% uncompensated back rent.
Oregon Back Rent Repayment Deadline
HB 4401 extends the repayment period for any rent accrued in the extended state emergency period (April 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) to July 1, 2021, for those tenants that submit a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord.
Rental Assistance for Tenants
Besides, House Bill 4401 provides special funding for tenant-initiated rental assistance. Early application is suggested due to limited funds. Call 211.
Get more information on Oregon's extended Eviction Moratorium:
Multnomah County Eviction Moratorium
There is a separate moratorium applying to tenants of Multnomah County and City of Portland that may offer additional protections. COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium Information | Multnomah County (multco.us)
Seek Help Immediately if your landlord attempts to end your lease using for cause justifications such as;
Minor lease violations, renovations to the property, intention to occupy the premises, property sale & new owner plans to move- in.
Some landlords may attempt to use these justifications as a ruse to avert the state eviction moratorium, replacing unemployed renters owing back rent with employed renters with higher incomes.
Seek Eviction Help ASAP by contacting:
Community Alliance of Tenants
Call 503-288-0130 Renter Hot-Line
Oregon Rental Law Information
Oregon Law Center home - Oregon Law Center
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.
Call 211 for information on how to access community resources for help with rental assistance, utility bills, food and other vital needs.
Renters can find resources for help paying rent listed by county.
Incluides information for:
Oregon Food Bank- pantry listings
Emergency Food Boxes
PDX Concierge is a all volunteer home food delivery Service for Seniors.
Partners For a Hunger Free Oregon lists supportive resources including:
OHCS provides funds to local community agencies that provide bill payment assistance programs. These programs assist low-income households. Payments are made directly to the utility company on the customer’s behalf. Funds go quickly.
Call 211 daily for resource updates.
The COVID-19 shutdown has stalled the Renters Open Forum in-person meetings, causing us to put our forums on hold from March - Dec. 2020. All future meetings will now take place on-line via Zoom Conferences.
Transitioning to on-line meetings has been challenging. "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.
The high-stakes impact of COVID-19- job-losses, mounting unpaid back rents, and the looming threat of mass evictions after the state eviction moratorium ends in June 2021 gives renters major incentives to find creative ways to organize together to keep their homes.
We're concerned that HB 4213 Eviction Moratorium and HB 4401, The Landlord Compensation Fund offered to landlords on behalf of tenants, do not address the long-term needs of unemployed and, lower-income tenants.
These sparse and temporary protections actually create pandemic casualties. Those having lost their means of support are unlikely to meet the proposed July 28, 2022 rent re-payment deadline set by lawmakers.
We're asking city leaders, "What provisions are you making for the coming avalanche of jobless renters facing eviction once the eviction moratorium ends on June 30, 20.
Contact Portland Metro Leadership
Gresham City Council
Portland City Council
PHB- Rental Services Commission
YOUR VOICE IS POWER!
State lawmakers want to hear from you. Let them know what your needs are, and how your life has been impacted by the pandemic.
Peter Courtney (503)-986-1600 sen.petercourtney@orego nlegislature.gov
Akasha Lawrence-Spence (503) 986-1436 AkashaLawrenceSpence@oregonlegislature.gov
Rachel Prusak (503)-986-1437 Rep.RachelPrusak@oregonlegislature.gov
Tina Kotek (503)-986-1200 Rep.TinaKotek@oregonlegislature.gov
Julie Fahey (503)-986-1414 Rep.JulieFahey@oregonlegislature.gov
Kahnh Pham (representative elect, assumes office January 11 2021) https://khanhphamfororegon.com/
Dacia Grayber (representative elect, assumes office January 11 2021) https://www.daciafororegon.com/contact/
In this pandemic environment, tenant organizing and mobilization are generated more and more through independent, grassroots autonomous networks via social media and cell phones.
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Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
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