February 3, 2017

Thank You Portland City Council and Mayor Ted Wheeler for Passing Renter Protections

The year has only started and APANO’s members are already making an impact on the state.

Recently, APANO member Jessica Li testified before Portland City Council in support of a relocation assistance ordinance that requires landlords to pay relocation fees if tenants are forced to leave because of no-cause evictions or rent increases over 10%.

On Thursday night, The Portland Mercury reported that, “The Portland City Council...passed the strongest renter protections Portland's seen since well before declaring a housing emergency in 2015. In a unanimous vote, council voted to immediately enact a law that will require landlords to pay relocation costs of between $2,900 and $4,500 to tenants when they've raised rents by more than 10 percent or issued a no-cause eviction.”

Speaking of the win, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said, “This is literally the only tool the City of Portland has to protect renters, and we are using it."

Renters in Portland have never had such protections before. Please thank your City Council Member--and especially Commissioner Eudaly-- for their initiative. Please also thank Mayor Ted Wheeler who has made addressing Portland’s housing crisis one of his top priorities.

Read Jessica Li’s powerful testimony below.


Testimony by APANO Member Jessica Li on Housing

My name is Jessica Li. I live in an apartment building in the outer SE Jade District. I love the community we have there, because I have family who live next door, and my two daughters, Angela and Winnie, ages 5 and 9 go to Harrison Park Elementary School, which is next door.

Jessica Li Testimony

Last year, our building was sold to a California-based investment group, who immediately raised the rent 10% through a new utility charge. Both my husband and I work at restaurants and make very low incomes, and a 10% increase is very tough for us. Luckily, with the help of APANO and Legal Aid, we were able to postpone the rent increase for a year, which allowed us to be able to stay in the building. but this past month they just sent a new lease renewal notice that raises the rent 25% . This is too much for us, and we’ll have to leave. My kids love the teachers and friends they’ve made at their school, and ripping them apart from this supportive community would hurt them badly. I urge City Council to require some kind of relocation assistance for rent increases that are 10% or more. I don’t want Portland to become a segregated city where all the people who work hard cleaning and cooking and building this city can’t afford to live in it. My husband and I are proud to be immigrants and we want to stay in Portland. Please don’t push us out.