Last year city council incumbent Steve Novice was unseated by Portland bookstore owner, Chloe Eudaly. The change was a surprise especially after low polling numbers in the primary election. Chloe Eudaly is a long time Portland renter and ran on a platform of protecting tenant’s rights.
In her first month as city commissioner a rule (spearheaded by Eudaly) was voted on February 2nd and passed unanimously by city council. The rule requires landlords to pay for tenant’s relocation costs for no cause evictions and rent increases over 10%. The relocation costs range from $2,900 for a studio to $4,500 for a two bedrooms apartment. This rule is a emergency response to the housing crisis and will be in effect immediately until October of 2017. Commissioners noted that the rule is not perfect and Amanda Fritz was quoted saying there will be unintended consequences that are yet to be seen.
The commissioners heard testimony for 5 hours on Thursday from both landlords, tenants and tenant right activists. In response the Multifamily Northwest will most likely file a lawsuit to battle the 10% cap as Oregon has a ban on rent control. There are a number of exemptions, including landlords who rent only one dwelling in Portland.