Eugene Seniors Fight Back Against Rent Hikes
Just wanted to write to you and share the latest updates in the fight for tenant protections.
Eugene Seniors Speak Out
Seniors from the Eugene Hotel went to the last city council forum and shared their experiences with massive rent hikes that are displacing their friends and neighbors. Watch the video of their testimony here.
Renter Protections Phase 2 - Hearing this Monday! (March 13th at 5:30)
We need your support for Phase 2 of the Eugene Renter Protections NOW! Eugene Tenant Alliance has released its testimony guide. This document has everything you need to be able to testify. It has the zoom link, the address for in person, and talking points and sample testimony. Many of us are gathering in person to pack the room. We’re going to take a group picture at 5:25 in the hallway outside of the hearing. Be sure to get there early.
Our goal is to get 50 folks to testify at this hearing. We have approximately 35 folks that have let me know they are planning on coming. We need 15 more supporters to step up and testify in support. Please R.S.V.P. through this form.
Capping Rent Increases in Oregon - SB 611 Update
Eugene Tenant Alliance is now officially part of the Stable Homes for Oregon Families Coalition, which is a statewide coalition of tenant organizations, advocacy groups, unions, and other organizations working to pass statewide tenant protections.
One of the bills we are working on with them is Senate Bill 611, which would roll back the current allowable rent increases. Under SB 611, rent increases would be limited to 3 percentage points above inflation with a maximum cap of 8%. Under current law, rents can increase 7 percentage points above inflation, which is why this year's allowable rent increase is 14.6%.
SB 611 also narrows the current loophole that exempts newer buildings from ANY rent limits. Under SB 611, the exemption for new properties lasts only 3 years instead of the current 15.
This week, we delivered testimony from 71 members of Eugene Tenant Alliance to their Senators and Representatives. This photo is of us delivering testimony to Majority Leader Julie Fahey’s office (D - West Eugene)
The hearing for SB 611 is likely to be the week of March 20th. We will keep you posted.
Capping Application Fees at $10
The house version of our bill is scheduled for a hearing on March 14th at 8:00am. This bill, HB 3237 allows cities to set whatever cap on application fees that they want. If this bill passes, the Court Ruling in Thorin vs. Eugene would be moot, and application fees in Eugene will be capped again. Eugene Tenant Alliance is seeking an amendment to this bill, to set a statewide cap of $25, or city ordinance, whichever is lower. We will see if the amendment gets included.
Please join us in supporting this bill. Here is a sample testimony. If you want us to submit a testimony on your behalf, be sure to copy + paste this language into a new document and email it to Eugenetenantalliance@gmail.com. The deadline to submit testimony is 3/16/2023 at 8am. Please send it as soon as you can to us.
Eviction Prevention, Rent Assistance, and Housing Production - HB2001 and HB5019
The early housing package is headed to the Ways & Means Committee this Friday, after which it will probably get voted on the floor next Tuesday, March 14. This is a huge win, and thank you to everyone that wrote to their legislators in support.
The package includes $130 million requested by Gov. Tina Kotek earlier this year, which will be used for rent assistance, eviction prevention services, shelter beds, and funding for culturally responsive organizations and tribes providing homelessness services. Additional funding of tens of millions of dollars will be used to address homelessness in rural areas, support homeless youth, and encourage the production of modular homes. The package also includes changes to the state's land use system, prioritizing housing construction over "citizen engagement." the bill includes essential provisions of SB 799, the eviction reform act, one of the Eugene Tenant Alliance’s priority bills.