Multifamily NW statement on SB 608 - February 26, 2019

February 26, 2019

Contact: Deborah Imse, deborah@multifamilynw.org, 503-213-1281

“Now that statewide rent control is set to 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 is, 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.

 

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.