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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Lawmakers Hear Arguments For, Against No Cause Evictions

Oregon DOT

With Oregon’s biggest cities in a housing crunch, lawmakers are considering a measure that would require landlords to give specific reasons for evicting a tenant.

Right now property owners don't have to give a reason when they tell renters to leave. That leaves low-income people with little recourse, Democratic House Speaker Tina Kotek told a House panel considering the measure.

"It's a crisis,” she said. “It's immediate, it's upon us, and people are losing their housing every day."

But Ron Garcia of the Rental Housing Alliance of Oregon, which represents landlords, said no cause termination is a tool "for certain instances that if, simply put, taken away really limits our ability to manage the safe and stable environment of tenants."

The bill would also allow cities and counties to pass local ordinances to regulate rent increases.

The Oregon House Committee on Human Services will hear another round of testimony on the bill Thursday evening at 5 p.m. in the Oregon Capitol.