100 signatures reached
To: Kate Brown and the Oregon Legislature
Convene a Special Session to Provide Urgent Relief to Renters!
Due to the worsening economic crisis and impending great depression caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, renters are growing increasingly panicked about being able to pay the rent, and what will happen if they can't.
We urgently need action at the state level to provide immediate relief to renters:
1. Forgive rents to provide financial relief for impacted Oregonians
2. Freeze rents to prevent increases for the duration of the emergency, and for three months following.
3. Public assistance should be provided to qualified landlords who can demonstrate mortgage payment and operating cost including required maintenance deficits from unpaid rent. Federal money coming to Oregon for rental assistance should be distributed in this manner, based on demonstrated landlord need, and shall not subsidize profits.
4. We are also calling for an anti-harassment statute, which would allow tenants to pursue private legal remedy if they are harassed or threatened by landlords attempting to circumvent these protections and take advantage of the chaos.
Why is this important?
We need measures that alleviate the devastating financial burden facing many low-income and working-class renters, who have lost some or all of their income due to COVID-19. According to Proposal 1 by the Joint Special Committee for Coronavirus Response, evictions would be prohibited for the duration of the emergency for these households, but tenants would still be held accountable for all of their back rent when the Executive Order is lifted.
This is unacceptable.
Already too many Oregonians are cost-burdened by their rent. Facing added cumulative debt means either eviction and houselessness, turning to predatory lenders, or going without essentials that many are already struggling to afford. This is not a time when the most vulnerable should be concerned about their basic human needs.