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Tenant protection bill headed for House vote

The measure requires a year of tenancy and 90 days' notice before increasing rent.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP/EO MEDIA GROUPSALEM — A bill to increase notice for raising rent in month-to-month tenancies is headed to the House of Representatives.

The tenant protections bill is one part of an omnibus housing package negotiated between House Democrats, landlords, builders and affordable housing advocates to address the state’s affordable housing shortage.

The House Rules Committee voted 6-to-2 Tuesday to recommend the measure to the House floor.

Republicans Rep. Carl Wilson, R-Grants Pass, and Rep. Bill Kennemer, R-Oregon City, voted against the bill.

The bill prohibits landlords from raising rent for the first 12 months in a month-to-month tenancy and requires a 90-day notice, instead of the existing 30-day notice, before hiking rent after that point.

The City of Portland already requires 90 days’ notice.

The measure also increases fees landlords can charge tenants for violating a smoking ban from $50 to $250 after a warning.

Another tenant protection to increase the notice period for no-cause evictions after a year of tenancy from 60 days to 90 days was stripped from the legislation.

The committee rejected a series of amendments by Rep. Julie Parrish, R-Tualatin/West Linn. One of the proposals would have frozen property taxes for seniors, age 70 and older, whose income is 300 percent of the federal poverty level.

The housing deal also includes a bill to lift a ban on cities and counties requiring developers to include affordable housing units in their plans. The measure allows local governments to require developers to offer up to 20 percent of units at below market rates in exchange for an incentive such as tax exemptions, fee waivers or expedited services. A public hearing on that bill is scheduled for Thursday in the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee.

Two other bills would allow for cities to annex land with a petition from all of the landowners in that area and establish a pilot program for local governments to develop affordable housing.

By Paris Achen
Portland Tribune Capital Bureau Reporter
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