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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.

Bill To Ban No Cause Evictions Narrowly Passes Oregon House

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network

The Oregon House narrowly voted Tuesday to ban most no-cause evictions and to allow cities to pass local rent control ordinances.

The bill would only allow no-cause evictions under limited circumstances, after a tenant has been living in a unit at least six months. Supporters, including Democratic Rep. Mark Meek, said it's a matter of fairness.

"I don't believe that landlords should have the ability to kick people out for any reason or no reason at all,” Meek said. “No cause evictions uproot families and create instability."

Republicans including Rep. Bill Kennemer said the bill would make it harder for property owners to get rid of problem tenants and wouldn't solve the overall problem.

"Laws don't stop people from killing people,” Kennemer said. “They don't stop rotten landlords from being greedy."

The debate comes as many Oregon cities continue to deal with tight housing markets. The measure would also allow cities and counties to enact local ordinances that would control how much landlords could raise rents each year.

The bill passed the House 31-27, with two Democrats joining every Republican in voting against the measure. It now heads to the Oregon Senate.