Bad Rent Control

With Oregon passing statewide rent control, the “door has been opened” to tweak the law locally to better protect tenants from money-addicted landlords. The current “one size fits all” legislation fails to protect the most vulnerable.

The newly legalized cap of a 7-percent annual increase will financially devastate those in the lower socio-economic groups such as seniors, the disabled and the impoverished (i.e., single mothers). It places all renters into one group as opposed to reflecting the spectrum that actually exists. More importantly, it does next to nothing to make housing affordable.

With Lane County and Eugene being a compassionate place to live, our county commissioners and City Council need to take the law one step further; there is nothing now preventing the enactment of local law(s) to cap rent even lower. This can be done on a continuum that reflects various types of rental properties, addressing the true reality that exists and the incomes of those found therein.

Eugene’s Falcon Wood Village retirement park, and the unsavory deeds done there by management through its Chicago-based corporation, has been in the news. Our Legislature is attempting to enact new law to address aspects of this corporate greed.

Statewide rent control, however, exacerbates the woes at Falcon Wood. It will force tenants who rent lots for their homes there to give them up.

Surely astute local politicians can find a better way to address our affordable housing crisis and therefore help ease our burgeoning homelessness.

James Houston

Senior citizens advocate