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City Club of Eugene: Landlords and Tenants: What's Fair?

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CIty Club of Eugene YouTube

Program date: April 1, 2022

Air date: April 4, 2022

From The City Club of Eugene: 

The 53% of Eugeneans who are renters know that our community is a tough place to find housing. RentCafe reported that in 2021 Eugene had the most competitive rental market in the US, with a rental vacancy rate of just 1.6%. When a unit came on the market, 30 or more applicants competed and one typically signed a lease within 24 days of the listing. Even the fact that median gross rents went up 6% in the last 3 years did not slow the race to rent.

Additionally, the pandemic has hit both renters and landlords hard. In the face of renters’ lost employment income, eviction moratoriums were put in place, and to provide relief for landlords’ lost rental income, the Oregon legislature established a Landlord Compensation Fund. The Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program, intended to help low-income households pay past-due rent, was plagued with slow payouts and now the program is winding down. All in all, the market grew tougher for landlords and renters.

Oregon and Eugene already had rules in place defining the rights of renters and landlords. In 2005 the City of Eugene established a rental housing code that set standards for rental maintenance. The City collects fees from landlords to fund a program to enforce these rules through a complaint hotline, an investigative process, and a requirement to fix regulated problems, most within 10 days.

The Eugene Housing Policy Board’s Rental Protection Committee recently submitted to the Eugene City Council a list of nine new recommendations for additional renter protections. The recommendations fall into three groups: application/deposit rules, move out/eviction rules, and an increase in the rental housing code door tax paid by landlords to cover the cost of hiring a Rental Housing Navigator, establishing a tenant hotline, and increasing other tenant support services.

Our speakers, Julia Boss and Kathryn Dunn, offer their perspectives on these proposed rental protections.

Speakers:

Julia Boss is the principal at Julia Boss Editing. She is currently a member of the Eugene Housing Policy Board and its Renter Protections Committee, as well as the Eugene Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee. She earned a BA, an MA, and a PhD from Yale University in History and Renaissance Studies.

Kathryn Dunn has been a business owner for more than 30 years, in both the advertising and real estate industries. She is a licensed Realtor with The Karandy & Dunn Team at Keller Williams Realty, and she also invests in rental properties. She earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising and master’s degree in organizational communication from the University of Oregon School of Journalism.

We have two First Questioners. Both are members of the Eugene Housing Policy Board’s Renter Protection Committee. Jason Evans is the owner of Trio Property Management in Eugene. Tim Morris is the Executive Director of the Springfield Eugene Tenants Association.

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