Portland Tenants Union Has Raised Nearly $3,000 for Holgate Manor’s Rent Strike

A dozen tenants have so far elected not to pay rent this month over the conditions in the building.

Portland's tenants union has so far raised $2,880 toward a strike fund for the tenants at the Southeast Portland complex who didn't pay their rent this month.

Those numbers come from the campaign's GoFundMe account and Portland Tenants United. (PTU has received $400 off line. The rest is committed through GoFundMe.)

Holgate Manor, a large apartment complex in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood, has been home to refugees and other low-income tenants for decades. In January, the property sold to a California investment company, which in March began pushing people to leave, including with 9.9 percent rent increases.

The rent strike at Holgate comes with risks, including that tenants might not prevail in court and need to cover the landlord's attorney fees. (The losing party in landlord-tenant cases cover legal expenses.)

Related: Tenants in Southeast Portland Launch a Rent Strike, Hoping to Stay in Their Gentrifying Apartment Complex

Portland Tenants United aims to raise $10,000.

Twelve tenants at Holgate Manor, including one who canceled in his rent check to join the strike belatedly, withheld rent this month from the landlord, paying their money into a separate fund that will be available if tenants are ordered by court to pay the money to the landlord or into a court fund.

"Tenants in 22 units have committed to strike," says PTU organizer Anthony Bencivengo in a statement.

"We've chosen the 'rolling strike' model, with the first 12 withholding rent now. As soon as housing inspectors confirm the violations the remaining 10 have been reporting for months, they will follow suit in September…It is now up to Princeton to decide whether to negotiate with their tenants and stop gentrifying their community, or face the public relations nightmare of beginning eviction proceedings against seniors."

Related: A Portland Apartment Complex Became a Refuge for Immigrants. Its New California Owner Is Offering Them Quick Cash to Get Out.

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