Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Portland's Low Vacancy Rates the Biggest Threat to Renters

Portland for Everyone recently reported on Portland's new ordinance requiring landlords to pay relocation costs after no-cause evictions or rent increases greater than 10%. They argue that this ordinance could cause additional problems for renters due to the lack of housing supply in Portland.

Their fears are echoed by an unlikely ally: Portland Tenant United's Margot Black. Black argues that low vacancy rates mean landlords can afford to be more selective, and penalties for no-cause evictions could make it even harder for low-income tenants to find housing.

"Supply is also the answer" to the housing crisis, says Black. Portland's vacancy rate has been below the national average since 1986, with the exception of a brief period in 2004. At the same time, Multnomah County has not built enough units to keep up with population growth.

HFO is pleased to see that Margot understands the importance of increasing supply, and hopes that tenant groups and governmental bodies will do more to encourage development of affordable housing.

 Read more.