RAC Media Roundup: Rent Stabilization Bill


The Rogue Action Center works to ensure that the statewide housing crisis and the experiences of renters in Jackson and Josephine Counties are represented in statewide discussions in the legislature and in the media. Here is a round up of articles and television interviews the Rogue Action Center contributed to during the debate of Senate Bill 608, Oregon's new renter protection and rent stabilization bill.


Local Landlords and Tenants React to New Law - KOBI News 5 Medford (video)

"Local advocacy group, Rogue Action Center, has been fighting for a rent control bill for over two years. Tomlin says the law is a step in the right direction, but there’s still more work to be done....Watch the full video here.


Historic Rent Control Bill Signed into Law - KGQ8 Portland (video)

"This bill is crucial for Medford. Advocates like Michelle Glass who worked on this for more than 4 years say it's a very important step for renters in Southern Oregon."


Oregon Legislature Passes Renters' Protection Bill - The Source Weekly Bend

"“Passage of SB 608 shows that lawmakers recognize that renters in rural and Central Oregon have literally been left out in the cold during the housing crisis. Now fewer children across Oregon will be showing up at school after spending the night in a shelter, a car or a tent. Fewer people will face the silent discrimination and retaliation of no cause evictions. Fewer seniors will skip their medications because they had to make a choice between paying for rent or a prescription,” says Michelle Glass, Director, Rogue Action Center."


Southern Oregon residents share why they traveled 200+ miles to testify in support of much-needed renter protections. Stable Homes for Oregon Families Coalition


Some Say Renters' Rights bill Necessary, Others Say It's Toxic - KTVL News 10 Medford

"The crisis is one that Michelle Glass-- co-founder of the Rogue Action Center-- said has spiraled out of control over the last five years.

"We have one in three households in Jackson County who pay more than 50 percent of their income just on housing costs-- which leaves very little for other necessities," she said.

Her center and volunteers have knocked on about 2,200 doors over the past 12 months to talk to renters and identify the biggest housing problems they face.

She said the effects of no-cause evictions and outrageous rental hikes are commonly the top two concerns-- both of which SB 608 aims to limit.

The bill would prohibit landlords from terminating month-to-month tenancy without cause after 12 months. It also limits rent increases to seven percent above the annual change in the consumer price index. Those increases would only be allowed annually.

For Glass, this is not a one-and-done solution. It's more of a first step.

"There is no silver bullet," she said. "This is just going to say, 'We're going to make sure that rents can't spike in ways that are really damaging.'" Watch the full video here.


Oregon House Passes Rent Control, Sends to Governor - KTVZ News 21 Bend

"“Passage of SB 608 shows that lawmakers recognize that renters in rural and Central Oregon have literally been left out in the cold during the housing crisis. Now fewer children across Oregon will be showing up at school after spending the night in a shelter, a car or a tent. Fewer people will face the silent discrimination and retaliation of no cause evictions. Fewer seniors will skip their medications because they had to make a choice between paying for rent or a prescription,” says Michelle Glass, Director, Rogue Action Center."


Is Your Rent Through the Roof? Oregon Wants to Fix That - New York Times National (print) Contributed on background to ensure rural context was part of the piece instead of just a Portland focus.

"In Talent, a city of 6,500 in southern Oregon, one in three residents spends more than half of his or her income on housing. Rents in Bend, one of the 10 fastest growing metropolitan areas in the nation, have climbed by more than 21 percent in the last three years. In Medford, the rental vacancy rate is less than 2 percent. And students at the University of Oregon in Eugene say pricey apartments have forced them to live in towns as far as an hour’s drive from campus."


Lawmakers Gear Up to Make Oregon the 1st with Statewide Rent Control - Oregon Public Broadcasting OPB Statewide Media

"Several tenants spoke of the fear of being kicked out of their their home with little warning.

Joseph Tomlin (of Jackson County) said because of a no-cause eviction, he’s been couch surfing for the past two weeks. He urged lawmakers to pass the bill, saying renters deserve a basic level of protection. “If this bill was passed, it would not only protect myself from this bad situation, but the one in three people in Jackson County that pay more than 50 percent of their income to rent,” Tomlin said"


Everything You Need to Know about a Rent Control Bill that Oregon's Power Brokers in Salem have Lined Up Behind - Willamette Week Portland

"Are lawmakers forcing the whole state to accept a fix for what's only a problem in Portland? No. Salem, Eugene and Bend have all seen rents increase rapidly, with median rents up by a quarter in four years, according to data from the real estate website Zillow. "If you ask anyone in Southern Oregon, no one would tell you any differently: The housing crisis is real in Southern Oregon and has been growing in the last five years," says Michelle Glass, director of the Rogue Action Center, a community organization in Medford. "This has actually been one of the most difficult things about the housing crisis, the fact that for many state policy makers, it is invisible outside of the Portland metro area."



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