Lawmakers Ignoring The Eviction Crisis

Portland State University’s research indicates hundreds of thousands of Oregonians are facing evictions and becoming homeless. Gov. Kate Brown, state legislators and local governments either ignored, or failed to understand, PSU’s scholarship.

They’ve decided to meet on Dec. 13 to see what to do regarding this disaster, created mostly by their own doing. Promoting and subsidizing apartments renting for $2,000 to $3,000 per month on up and studios that go for $1,200 to $1,700 per month, during the worst Oregon economic downturn in over a century, is ridiculous. Federal unemployment insurance benefits of $300 to $600 a week, along with eviction moratoriums, masked the bankruptcy of state and local government policies. But UI benefits have ended, and lawmakers are engaging in can-kicking regarding eviction moratoriums, which indicates most of these people are dodging their culpability regarding this mess.

Prior to this boondoggle, three real estate bubbles — S&L, dot-com and subprime — ended in disaster. They required massive public bailouts and benefited “too big to fail” financial institutions. What’s perverse is, the more epic the failure, the greater the reward. For that demographic, it makes sense to build junk commercial real estate that fulfills no legitimate market demand. Keep that in mind during any subsequent housing debates.

Charlie Rojas