City Commissioner Amanda Fritz voted no. In her remarks today, she warned the new criteria would decrease investment in Portland's housing market and ultimately harm renters.
Fritz is also a skeptic of supply-side solutions to the housing shortage, including opposing some upzonings as well as residential infill project, which she has argued can increase displacement in some neighborhoods. After criticisms from affordable housing developers, Eudaly's office went back for another round of revisions and proof that the policies would work. Besides the practical need to assuage affordable housing developers, who provide critical low-cost housing to people Eudaly was seeking to support, that round of revisions was viewed as a political necessity for winning the votes of Fish and Wheeler.
Eudaly's office has already set its eye on the next big policy change with its own potentially heavy political lift: a system of bus-only lanes throughout the city. Rachel Monahan joined Willamette Week in She covers housing and City Hall. Willamette Week. Share on Facebook.
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Share on WhatsApp. Share on SMS. A house is shown for rent in North Portland on Tuesday, May 19, The proposal, brought by Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and headed to the City Council next week, encourages landlords to use prescribed criteria that could double the number of renters getting approved compared with the industry standard.
If landlords chose not to follow the looser checks, they could do their typical tenant review but then would have to jump through some extra city hoops that add costs and processing time. Beyond long-standing fair housing laws that bar discrimination against protected classes such as race, sex and familial status, few other U.
Eudaly, who won her seat on a campaign that focused on tenant protections based on her own experience as a renter, has long sought to address screening criteria.
Rent Well — info
She was set to bring forward a proposal in September but withdrew it for further development. Landlords say the new rules will force some small operators out of the business, worsening the housing shortage. And the lower screening bar could put their properties or other tenants at risk, they say.
But Eudaly staffers say many common tenant screening principles — including criminal and credit history — actually have little bearing on whether renters pay rent on time or are ultimately evicted for bad behavior. Portland proposes to help renters expunge convictions. The city of Portland has a plan to help low-income renters wipe some criminal convictions from their record with the goal of removing a barrier to housing.
The proposal offers landlords two choices:. Many landlords today require renters to make three times the monthly rent.
Safety First: Nationwide Criminal Screening Legislative Update
They can consider only one year of criminal and rental history. That could mean accepting renters with criminal convictions including some sex offenses, arson or burglary. Black, the tenant organizer, dismissed those concerns as fearmongering. The low-barrier screening would limit checks to felony convictions within the past 7 years and misdemeanors within the last 3 years.