Portland DSA condemns the cruel and unnecessary decision by MultCo commissioners to rescind eviction protections for Multnomah residents.

Image for post
Portland, Oregon neon sign, superimposed over image of houseless encampment

This decision will result in more evictions, more houselessness, and more suffering. Our commissioners should reverse this immediately.

Portland has the highest concentration of low income tenants in Oregon. Strong protections were and still are necessary. But MultCo commissioners have decided to retract their prior protections, and defer to the state’s protections, which are weaker. Here’s how:

  1. They rescinded the 6 month payback period. Tenants will be on the hook for ALL accrued rent debt when the moratorium ends in July.
  2. Landlords can again evict you for no cause, including if they want to renovate or move into the property themselves. This means more evictions.
  3. Tenants are now required to submit a written hardship declaration to qualify for the moratorium. This puts the burden on tenants to navigate a continuously changing moratorium; many will slip through the cracks.

Commissioners Kafoury, Meieran, and Pederson claimed that their decision was to avoid “confusion” between the two overlapping moratoriums. Yet their decision only causes more confusion, and emboldens landlords to evict while scrapping tenant protections.

All COVID rent debt should be cancelled. Tenants need rent debt forgiveness, not just borrowed time. If our county commissioners intend to defer to the state, they are deferring to a body of landlord legislators who do not have the backs of MultCo tenants.