Portland DSA Welcomes Wrath of Landlords, Realtors in Fight To Lower Rents

photo of Portland DSA renters' rights canvassers

“But as socialists,

we welcome this fight.”

If you are a working person in Portland, housing is your major expense, and a constant struggle. Portland declared a ‘housing emergency’ in 2017, and the number of folks living on the street has only increased ever since.

The politicians’ response has been to call for the construction of ‘affordable housing’ — certainly needed and completely insufficient to the scale of the problem. Clamping down on rent speculation would seem a no-brainer, however any move in this direction unleashes the full wrath of the National Realtors Association, via our own Portland Metro Chamber of Commerce. 

But as socialists, we welcome this fight.

We created a Renters’ Survey and a Renters’ Rights Pledge. In the coming months, the Housing Working group will lead door to door canvasses to sign up hundreds of renters in support the Renters’ Rights Pledge. We will also demand that all local candidates for city council, and others, support of the Pledge. We will make Renters’ Rights the #1 political issue in our region’s politics. Join us and sign the Pledge!

On March 10, 2024, the Portland DSA General Assembly passed the Renter’s’ Rights resolution. The resolution was put forward by Portland DSA’s Housing Working Group after three months of door-to-door renters canvassing. The Housing Working Group based the resolution on the successful 2023 Tacoma 4 All ballot measure. To the six planks of the Tacoma 4 All platform, we added our own Eviction Representation for All demand, as well as a call for the State of Oregon to lift its ban on local rent control — and to raise the minimum wage so that one worker can pay for an apartment with not more than 30% of their income.