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Housing Providers Propose Relief
Point out state’s role in generating back due rent.

An Oregon association representing more than 25,000 members and over 270,000 rental units, Multifamily NW, has communicated with Governor Kate Brown, requesting a resolution to the hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid rent owed to real estate owners. These arrearages were created by state policies on housing, including eviction moratoria and lack of tenant requirements for proof of hardship. Spurred by the recent discussion by the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors, the letter, authored by Multifamily NW Executive Director, Deborah Imse calls out the advisors for their inability to address the problem.

Oregonian renters and housing providers would be angered and disheartened by the response you received from economist Tim Duy, and your apparent agreement with his statement: “I don’t know that it’s possible for the state to make that investment, it’s probably too big, and I would probably let the bankruptcy courts deal with it and let the banks deal with it....you are going to have to accept that there are going to be costs to this pandemic that cannot be dealt with effectively by the state”

The costs referred to by the economist amount to more than $250 300 million, but housing providers maintain they are higher. In an ironic twist, some of the loudest voices in favor of the eviction moratorium, which involves the state intervention on a private contract, are the same voices that point out the inviolability of a contract when PERS reform is discussed.

Not content with merely complaining to the Governor, Multifamily NW offers several solutions that the upcoming legislature could use to provide relief. There is a proposal on the table for mitigating the damages done to housing providers, currently known as Legislative Concept 18. In another letter, addressed to "Speaker Kotek and Members of the Democratic Caucus," the association points out several flaws in LC 18, including: 38% of all residential real estate in Oregon is renter occupied, so the dollar figure of any impact on rental properties quickly balloons. Often accused of picking winners and losers, Democrats in the person of the Governor and the majority party in the legislature have created a massive welfare program -- with a wealth transfer of possibly nearly half a billion dollars -- and placed the cost of that welfare program squarely on the shoulder of one sector of society. Ask a housing provider if "We are all in this together."

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-12-03 18:10:02Last Update: 2020-12-03 19:49:27

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