Today, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, City Council unanimously approved Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s proposal to provide additional protection and support to Portland tenants between now and March 31, 2021 due to the pandemic. The measure requires landlords to pay for relocation costs if rent is increased—by any amount.
“We are in the midst of a pandemic, and we need to do everything we can to keep Portlanders in their homes,” Mayor Wheeler said. “Simply put, this is a public health issue. Stable housing is the foundation of health, and this relief measure will help protect Portland renters through the worst of this crisis.
Previous code allowed rent increases of up to 10 percent without landlords being required to cover the moving costs of tenants. This temporary change in code will require relocation assistance for any rent increase between now and March 31, 2021, should a renter need to move out because they are unable to afford it.
Today’s emergency code change is the latest in a suite of actions the City of Portland has taken since the COVID-19 crisis began to stabilize vulnerable households facing economic hardship—and particularly communities of color.
In addition, Mayor Wheeler directed the Portland Housing Bureau to reallocate approximately $500,000 towards housing stabilization and relief in East Portland. These funds will support about 1,000 households.
Last week, Mayor Wheeler also announced that if the State does not act to extend the statewide eviction moratorium – scheduled to expire at the end of this month – he is prepared to enact a local moratorium effective October 1.
Mayor Wheeler is also calling on state and federal government, and financial institutions to find additional solutions to the systemic impacts caused by housing instability and unpaid rent.