Action Alert! SB 608 Passes Senate – Onto the House!

On Tuesday, February 12, the Oregon Senate voted 17 – 11 (2 excused) to pass SB 608, the bill which would provide basic protections for people who rent their homes. The bill now moves onto the House, where it is expected to have a hearing quickly.

SB 608 is the proposal which the Housing Alliance and the Stable Homes for Oregon Families coalition have endorsed, and are advocating for. 

We need your help! Your Representatives need to hear from you about this bill! Please consider emailing them, and submitting testimony to the House Human Services and Housing Committee.

The bill would:

  • Provide protection from no cause evictions for tenants after the first year of occupancy; and
  • Provide statewide protection from economic evictions by limiting rent increases to no more than seven percent plus the consumer price index percentage. It exempts regulated affordable housing (which is already protected by limits on rent increases), and new construction for the first fifteen years.

We need your help to pass this bill. This bill would provide meaningful protections for people who rent their homes.

How can you help? After submitting testimony for the hearing in the House Committee on Human Services and Housing, please send your testimony to your Representative, which will help decision makers better understand the impacts that housing instability has on our community members and our communities at large.

Here’s some suggestions about what you might say:

  • If you’re submitting testimony, address the letter to: Chair Keny-Guyer, Vice Chair Noble, Vice Chair Sanchez, Members of the Committee;
  • If you’re sending a letter to your Representative, address your letter to your Representative;
  • State your name and share what part of your city or town you live in. If you are sending a letter to your representative, state that you are a constituent;
  • If you work for an organization, share a little bit about your organization and your mission. Who do you serve? Where are you located? What is your mission?;
  • Share that you believe everyone needs a safe place to call home (or use another value statement);
  • If you are writing as an individual, share your story of being a renter who has received a no-cause or economic eviction, or a renter living with the uncertainty of the possibility of receiving either a no cause eviction or huge rent increase. If you can share that these types of evictions are happening throughout our communities, please do so;
  • If you are a homeowner, testifying in support, share what it means to you to have a safe and stable home that you won’t have to leave for no reason;
  • If you are now living in affordable housing, and no longer worried about no cause evictions or huge rent increases, share what that means to you and your family;
  • Share one story or data point about the current housing problems our communities are facing. If you are testifying on behalf of an organization, please share a story of a renter (someone your organization serves or someone who works for your organization) who received a no-cause or economic eviction. If you can share that these are happening throughout our communities, please do so;
  • Share what you think the community wide impacts of housing instability on families, churches workplaces, schools are – whatever your perspective is, please share so Legislators understand that this isn’t just about one renter and their family, but our community, and the stability of our communities;
  • Ask the Representative to vote yes to support SB 608. Say something like: “People who rent their homes are depending on the Legislature to act to provide basic protections and stability. We know we need to address a range of issues to solve the housing problems our communities are facing, and it is critical the Legislature act now to pass SB 608. Please vote yes on SB 608.”;
  • Say thank you! Being a Legislator is incredibly hard work, so please thank your Representative for their service and for reading your letter;
  • Send it to your Representative as soon as possible! Testimony to the House Committee on Human Services and Housing needs to be submitted by Monday, February 18 at 5 pm.