The first big Housing Bill of 2023
Just wanted to write to you this cold February morning and share the latest updates on renter protections in Oregon and locally in Eugene.
HB 2001 - The Speaker’s Omnibus Bill - The Early Session Housing Package
Omnibus bill definition: A large, single document bill that is accepted in a single vote by a legislature but packages together several measures
On Tuesday, February 14th, the House Housing and Homelessness Committee held a public hearing on HB 2001- an affordable housing and homelessness prevention package. The bill includes essential provisions of SB 799, the eviction reform act, one of the Eugene Tenant Alliance’s priority bills. HB 2001 is landmark legislation and reflects the urgency of the crisis too many Oregonians are living with due to lack of housing, inadequate services and eviction statutes designed for displacement instead of stability.
The bill is an important element of the emergency response to our current crisis that would ensure a focus on youth homelessness prevention, use innovative approaches to addressing housing supply barriers, and implement critical measures to help prevent eviction-caused homelessness and make evictions more rare and more fair.
The provisions of HB 2001 are a negotiated compromise that do not include the safe harbor or guest occupancy provisions of the original eviction reform bill, but retain 6 essential and critical elements that will provide immediate and substantial protection for Oregon renters. Immediate passage is critically important to stop 72 hour evictions.
It looks like this bill is moving out of committee as early as next week.
Rent Cap Update - SB 611
If you are not familiar with the details of the bill to cap rent in Oregon, you can watch this video here.
The hearing for SB 611 has been pushed back a couple of weeks to the first week of March. Our hope is that this schedule change will meet our request to hold the hearing at 5pm instead of at 8am. With a schedule change, working people will be able to testify remotely, and we won’t have testimony time limited to 40 minutes in total. (a big win)
This gives us a few more weeks to organize. One of the main ways you can help ahead of the hearing is by writing written testimony. We made a testimony template here. Make your edits, and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will submit it on your behalf. We also promise to print out two copies and deliver one to your senator, and one to your representative when we go to Salem for the hearing. You are welcome to join us, and we are organizing carpools from Portland and Eugene. We are still collecting signatures for our petition in support of capping rent increases, Sign it here.
We made a video how-to if you want to follow along for any particular bill. It’s helpful to know when a bill gets scheduled for a hearing, or moves out of committee, etc.
Eugene Renter Protections Phase 2
If passed, Phase 2 - Displacement Prevention Assistance would require any landlord within city limits to accompany a no-cause eviction notice with a lease break fee of three months' fair market rent paid to the tenant. Renters that move out in response to a rent hike greater than 5% will also qualify for displacement prevention assistance. This will help renters secure new housing, prevent them from being evicted into homelessness, and ensure that landlords are doing their fair part in addressing the impacts of their own business decisions. DPA is a vital consumer protection.
Phase 2 also includes:
a cap on security deposits to be 2x the monthly rent
Requiring landlords to process applications in the order received
A hearing is scheduled! March 13th at 5:30pm. You can R.S.V.P on facebook. Or with this google form. It’s imperative that we have a strong showing at this hearing. This policy has been in the works for a very long time. Sample testimony here. One pager here.
Capping Application Fees at $10 - SB 684
We are working to get a hearing scheduled for this bill. We have a draft 1-pager we’ve started circulating to legislators to build support. If you are part of a community based organization, and you want to add your logo to our one pager, please email your logo to email@example.com and we will add it. Be sure to check out Scar Farris’s letter in this week's Eugene Weekly in support of capping application fees. Thank you Scar for taking time to write about this important issue.
If you have a moment, please fire off an email to Sen. Manning asking him to help us get this bill scheduled.
Subject: Help us get SB684 scheduled!
Dear Sen. Manning,
Thank you for being such a strong ally to renters in your district. When a Lane County judge struck down our cap on application fees two weeks ago, we lost critical consumer protection. Please work to get SB 684 scheduled in the Senate Housing Committee. We are counting on you.
Eugene Tenant Alliance General Meeting
Eugene Tenant Alliance holds their general meetings every 3rd Wednesday at 6pm.That’s coming up this week. We strive to keep it about an hour, but we have time after to answer any burning questions you might have. If you want a calendar invite with the zoom link, shoot us an email and we will include you.
Sincerely, Eugene Tenant Alliance Donate to our cause