Multifamily NW statement on SB 608

Posted By: Deborah Imse Central Oregon, Advocacy Alerts, Mid-Willamette Valley, Portland/SW Washington, SWV News,

January 11, 2018


For Immediate Release


Contact: Deborah Imse,, 503-213-1281



Multifamily NW statement on SB 608


Multifamily NW was not involved in drafting SB 608 but released the following statement today about the bill.

“Rent control seems like an easy fix to Oregon’s housing crisis. A silver bullet. But the research shows that rent control only offers short-term benefits. Rent control helps renters today but hurts renters in the long run,” said Deborah Imse, executive director of Multifamily NW, which represents individuals, families, and businesses that provide more than 250,000 rental homes throughout Oregon.


“Independent research shows that rent control reduces supply, which is the opposite of what economists say is needed. This bill would make Oregon the first state in the nation to implement statewide rent control, and the results could actually end up making the housing crisis worse and hurting residents, not helping them,” Imse said.


We hope to partner with legislators on policy that increases supply while offering protections for residents,” Imse said.


  • Rent control leads to higher rents and fewer units over all. That’s not good for anyone.[1]
  • Rent control can divert resources from low-income renters to those with moderate and even high incomes. This happened in San Francisco. A 2002 study found that a quarter of rent-controlled units were occupied by households with incomes over $100,000 – far higher than the median household income at the time. [2]
  • Rent control leads to sub-part housing – cheaper units, but not very nice.[3]
  • Economist say we need more housing, not more regulations that limit housing. We need to incentivize the building of more units, not handicap rental providers. Economists say the best way to help struggling renters is through subsidies and tax incentives, not rent control.1


About Multifamily NW

Multifamily NW represents individuals, families, and businesses that provide more than 250,000 rental homes throughout Oregon. The organization is focused on helping rental home providers maintain quality housing, and on increasing the supply of rental homes in Oregon. Multifamily is an independent organization and is not a member of any other housing group, including Oregon Rental Housing Association, Rental Housing Alliance, or More Housing Now.



[1]  2017. The Effects of Rent Control Expansion on Tenants, Landlords, and Inequality: Evidence from San Francisco. Stanford University.

[2] 2002. San Francisco Housing Databank. Bay Area Economics

[3] 2012. Housing Market Spillovers: Evidence from the End of Rent Control in Cambridge Massachusetts. National Bureau of Economic Research.