We Asked Candidates for City Council How They Would Adjust Portland Tenant Protections

 As Oregonians weigh their choices for November, we start quizzing the candidates.

Wait's over. It's time. Oregonians will begin receiving ballots in the mail three weeks from now. Among the choices facing Portlanders: contested races for Oregon secretary of state, Portland mayor and a City Council seat. Starting this week, WW will ask the candidates questions intended to clarify their priorities, draw distinctions between their values, and establish how they view the office they're seeking.

Portland City Council, Position 4

In the past four years, incumbent City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly led the Portland City Council in establishing unprecedented tenant protections: first an ordinance that required landlords to pay moving costs for tenants they evicted without cause, then new limits on how much landlords could charge for a deposit and what screening questions they could ask tenants. Eudaly was opposed at every turn by landlords. We asked her and her challenger, academic Mingus Mapps:

In the past four years, Portland has passed some notable tenant protections. What, if anything, would you vote to repeal in the next four years? What would you vote to change about the rules?

City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly:

"Now is the time to strengthen our work to keep Portlanders housed. I advanced Portland's relocation assistance ordinance in my first 30 days in office and fair access in renting last year. These are the strongest protections Portland renters have had since World War II.

"In this moment, when we are anticipating a tidal wave of evictions and foreclosures, without a dramatic intervention at the state and federal levels, we must work to build upon our local protections. I am currently working on a tenant opportunity-to-purchase policy that would provide tenants and affordable housing nonprofits with the right of first refusal to purchase buildings that are up for sale. Additional solutions I am pursuing include extending the eviction moratorium, funding for eviction defense, increasing rent assistance, supporting the work of the anti-displacement task force that I helped create, and continuing our track record of building permanently affordable housing."

Mingus Mapps:

"The spirit of the existing tenant protections is in line with my values, and I have no plans to repeal existing tenant protections. I'd like to focus on moving forward. Portland needs to do a better job at increasing renter protections. We must also protect small 'mom and pop' landlords, in addition to their renters, so that affordable units do not go off the market, stay occupied and everyone thrives. We need to increase our supply of affordable housing. And we need to increase homeownership, especially among working families.

"I have plans to increase protections. We can protect renters by increasing funding for emergency housing vouchers and by extending the ban on evictions until the current fiscal crisis has passed. We can also protect renters by developing and implementing better anti-displacement policies and by establishing a zero-tolerance policy for racial discrimination in Portland's housing market."

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