Governor Brown Signs SB 608 into law Thursday, Feb. 28th

Posted By: Jonathan Clay Central Oregon, Advocacy Alerts, Portland/SW Washington, SWV News,

On Thursday, February 28th Governor Kate Brown signed into law SB 608, effective immediately. It ushers in the first-in-the-nation statewide rent control with limits on end of tenancy notices and in certain cases, mandating tenant relocation payments.

“Now that statewide rent control has become law, we expect the state of Oregon to start monitoring the impact. We also expect lawmakers to stay steady on the 7 percent cap. And we expect lawmakers to turn their attention now to evidence-based ways to make housing more affordable. That means building more missing middle housing and investing in voucher programs for those who need it,” said Deborah Imse, executive director of Multifamily NW, which represents individuals, families, and businesses that provide more than 250,000 rental homes throughout Oregon.

We would like to see the following from the Oregon legislature:

  • To make housing in Oregon more affordable, we need more from the legislature to address this issue. House Speaker Tina Kotek’s multi-family zoning bill is a good start, but it’s not nearly enough. To lower housing costs, policy makers statewide need to put more attention into increasing supply.
  • The legislature should be looking at programs that are proven to help renters, such as vouchers, subsidies, and rental assistance. We encourage lawmakers to look at programs like LIVE Denver, a low-income voucher equity program that is a public-private partnership with employers, foundations, and the city.
  • No other state has implemented statewide rent control. And no other state has enacted a 7 percent increase plus inflation – as measured by the consumer price index. It is crucial now that the state also measure the impact and report back regularly to determine if investment in rental construction decreases.
  • If this truly is going to be a different kind of rent control in Oregon as some say, it’s crucial that lawmakers commit to the 7 percent cap and ensure there is no ratcheting down. How can we ensure that 7 percent doesn’t become 5 percent in the future, or lower? We would like to see lawmakers offer assurances to investors that Oregon is still a smart, predictable place to invest in the rental market. This will support efforts to increase supply.

Multifamily NW is hard at work finalizing necessary legal changes to the Rental Forms Collection that will become live very soon at our e-commerce websites and the Additional trainings and luncheons are being planned for members and the general public to better understand the sweeping changes of SB 608.