Victory for Stable Families and Communities! Tenant Relocation Assistance Passes
Over 75 MACG members added their voices to the crowd at City Hall on Feb 2, 2017, successfully supporting a critical emergency Tenant Relocation Assistance ordinance which passed 5-0.
It was a victory for stable communities and families in the face of the Portland housing crisis.
The new temporary law requires Portland landlords to pay $2,900 to $4,500 to tenants who they evict without cause or who have to move as a result of a rent increase of 10 percent or more in one year.
The victory was not guaranteed. Receiving reports before the meeting that Commissioner Fritz was on the fence, MACG put the word out to members to email stories and concerns in support of the ordinance. Fritz is a former nurse, and she commented during MACG’s testimony that she had received many emails from MACG member institutions OHSU Department of Family Medicine and OHSU Health Equity Circle. Congratulations to all the MACG members who took the time to write. You made a difference!
The crowd at the Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance hearing, including 75 from MACG
Three MACG leaders testified – Dr. Luis Manriquez, who recently completed a Family Medicine Residency at OHSU; Gillian Weisgram (St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church); and Megan Kidd (People-Places-Things).
Megan read Ofelia's story of a no-cause eviction that ultimately forced her family to move into a cramped 1300 square foot house with two other families. Ofelia wanted to share her story with City Council members, and agreed to testify, but was unable to be at the council meeting last minute.
Three MACG Leaders Testify
Megan has been an active member of the Portland/Multnomah County Housing Action Team, and recently took on the role of Co-Chair. She had never attended a City Council meeting before, much less testified. She overcame some nervousness at testifying before Council members and a packed crowd, and did an outstanding job, as did Luis and Gillian. You can read their testimonies in the links below.
MACG worked with Portland Tenants United (PTU) and Living Cully to ensure a strong showing of support for the ordinance, and MACG leader, Pastor Melissa Reed (Leaven Community/Salt & Light Lutheran) spoke at PTU’s rally outside City Hall before the hearing.
The approval of this temporary emergency ordinance was a critical step toward providing immediate relief for tenants. Now advocates across the state are aiming their efforts at the 2017 Legislative session where they will work to pass Just Cause Eviction and Rent Stabilization legislation statewide. Stay tuned for ways to get involved!!
Contact Mary@macg.org if you would like to get involved with MACG's housing action teams.
- MACG Briefing Sheet
- Testimony: Dr. Luis Manriquez, Portland Primary Care Doctor
- Testimony: Gillian Weisgram, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
- Testimony: Ofelia Chavez, St. Andrew Catholic Church (read by Megan Kidd, People-Places-Things)