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Oregon Lawmakers Strip Rent Control Provision Stripped Tenant Protection Bill

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A measure aimed at protecting Oregon renters is moving ahead in the State Capitol. But not before lawmakers took out a portion aimed at slowing the rise of rent.

The Senate Human Services Committee voted Wednesday to send the measure to a floor vote. The bill was amended to remove a section that would have allowed cities to pass local rent control ordinances. The legislation would still ban no-cause evictions.

Democratic Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson called it one of the most important bills of the session for tenants in her east Multnomah County district.

"Although I don't think this goes far enough in helping many of those tenants, this is a good start, because we are in a crisis,” she said.

The amended bill would prevent landlords from raising rent more than once a year, but would not place limits on how much the rent could increase.

If the Senate approves it, the amended bill would go to the Oregon House for consideration there. The changes made by the Senate committee disappointed one of the advocacy groups pushing for the original version of the bill.

Pam Phan, the policy and organizing director for the Community Alliance of Tenants, said in a statement that the bill does provide some "some basic protections for tenants who are being evicted from their homes through no fault of their own." But Phan said the amendment that removed the rent control provision means "Oregonians will continue to face extreme rent increases."

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.