City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, a Leading Backer of Rent Control, Calls Proposed Concepts for a State Bill “Disappointing”

Eudaly ran on rent control. Now she's saying she wants to preserve Portland's ability to limit rent increases.

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. (Ken Rumbaugh / Portland Parks and Recreation)

City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly ran for office on a platform of instituting rent control in Portland.

Once elected, she quickly pivoted, and accepted that the Oregon Legislature would need to act before rent control could be instituted in Portland.

Now as the Legislature is moving closer to instituting a limit on how fast landlords can raise the rent, she has weighed in, criticizing the written concepts for a bill.

As WW reported last week, the Legislature's leadership has reached a specific proposal. They've settled on a cap of 7 percent plus inflation and will require landlords to provide cause for evictions after the first year in a unit.

Related: Oregon Rent Increases Will Be Capped at 7 Percent Plus Inflation, Under the Concept for a New Tenant Protections Bill

Eudaly took to Facebook to declare she's not satisfied with that number.

"It was 5% when I first heard about it. This is disappointing," Eudaly posted in Facebook comments on a tenants advocates' page.

Eudaly added that her biggest concern was discussions that the new state limits would eliminate local rules—like the Portland requirement that landlords pay tenants' moving costs in many eviction cases.

"If they want to set a minimum for [relocation costs] and a maximum for rent increases statewide but allow local jurisdictions to set their own standards above or below that would be fine," she added further in a comment thread. "Anything else is interfering with local power and it needs to stop."

In the comment thread, she boldly says: "stay tuned."

But in a statement to WW, she was more measured:

"The overall policies proposed by Speaker Kotek are a step forward for Oregon; however, my primary concern is maintaining our relocation policy in Portland. I plan to connect with the leadership in Salem to discuss next steps before moving forward."

Related: Oregon Looks Increasingly Ready to Pass Statewide Limits on Rent Increases

Gov. Kate Brown (D) has signed onto the concepts outlined last week.

"The Governor's team is comfortable with the framework of this concept, but needs to see the particulars of a bill to understand whether it hits the mark in balancing the needs of the vulnerable who struggle with housing instability today and accelerating the growth of Oregon's housing supply to meet the needs of our growing state," Brown spokeswoman Kate Kondayen tells WW.

A coalition of tenant groups, the Stable Homes for Oregon Families, is also supportive.

"Oregon's lack of tenant protections are devastating children and families," Felisa Hagins, political director of SEIU Local 49, in a statement for the coalition. "Our coalition-over 70 plus organizations strong, representing tenants, landlords, housing advocates, labor unions, education and health professionals, and businesses-supports the protections outlined in this bill. While we haven't the full bill text, we're supportive of the policy outline we've seen. Tenants deserve at least this level of protections.

"We've been working to pass tenant protections for years," she added. "We cannot wait any longer."

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