The state of Oregon has set next year’s maximum allowable rent increase to 14.6% next year, the highest jump in the 21st century.
“I’m super anxious, worried, concerned… confused,” local tenant Maggie said. “I already work over 50 hours a week and I would need to do more than that. I would need a second job, I would need a raise. I would need to move.”
Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., says the cap helps prevent price gouging. He also says he does not think landlords could justify raising rates to the full amount.
“I think it’s an important law,” Merkley said. “I think most families would say ‘14% would really hurt us.’ Raising rates to anywhere near that would be abusive.”
Evictions are also up across the state.
“Eviction rates are off the charts,” Kim McCarty with the Community Alliance of Tenants said. “We’re at 119% increase in evictions over last year. Over 2,000 people just from August face an eviction. We believe the leading cause of houselessness in Oregon is cost of housing.”
The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis says the policy is to prevent tenant abuse.
“Maybe an apartment complex is bought or sold, and then the new landlords come in and double or triple the rent over night, effectively evicting everybody out,” Josh Lehner with the OEA said. “That was some of the policy goal at the time, or the legislative intent.
The OEA says this cap does not mean everyone’s rent will increase.
If you want to calculate how much your rent could potentially rise, you can use the Community Alliance of Tenant’s rent calculator here.