Rent control has no business being statewide!

David Brock Smith

Your assistance is needed immediately

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Hello Friends, 

I am reaching out to you about a BAD BILL regarding Rent Control that will be voted on in committee Tomorrow at 1:00! 

SB 608 (Click Here) will, "Prohibits landlord from terminating month-to-month tenancy without cause after 12 months of occupancy. Provides exception for certain tenancies on building or lot used by landlord as residence. Allows landlord to terminate tenancy with 90 days' written notice and payment of one month's rent under certain conditions. Exempts landlord managing four or fewer units from payment of one month's rent. Provides that fixed term tenancy becomes month-to-month tenancy upon ending date if not renewed or terminated. Allows landlord to not renew fixed term tenancy if tenant receives three lease violation warnings within 12 months during term and landlord gives 90 days' notice. Limits rent increases for residential tenancies to one per year. Limits maximum annual rent increase to seven percent above annual change in consumer price index. Requires Oregon Department of Administrative Services to publish maximum annual rent increase percentage. Declares emergency, effective on passage."

Some recent articles on how rent control is BAD FOR FAMILIES, BAD FOR OUR COMMUNITIES AND THEIR ECONOMIES...

Rent Control Is Bad For Both Landlords And Tenants

Who Does Rent Control Help? (Click Here)

"So if rent control hurts tenants and landlords, who does it help? Unfortunately, rent control is a political tool more than anything else. At face value, it sounds like it would help the poor, but often helps the middle and upper classes."


The Economist explains

Do rent controls work? (Click Here)

"But economists, on both the left and the right, tend to disagree. As Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times in 2000, rent control is “among the best-understood issues in all of economics, and—among economists, anyway—one of the least controversial”. Economists reckon a restrictive price ceiling reduces the supply of property to the market."


How Ironic: America's Rent-Controlled Cities Are Its Least Affordable (Click Here)

"Bad ideas die hard, and rent control is no exception. For several decades, there has been near-consensus among economists that laws which cap or regulate rents are counterproductive, and most cities have ended them."


We however have passed some good legislation on this issue. I drafted and worked on a bipartisan effort to pass HB 2377 in the 2017 session and I appreciate all of the collaboration and support from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. HB 2377 helps incentivize the construction and add supply of Affordable Workforce Housing for all Oregonians, rural and urban. It also allows local governments the ability to craft their own efforts incentive program. 

HB 2377 (Click Here): "Authorizes city or county to adopt ordinance or resolution granting exemption for newly rehabilitated or constructed multi unit rental housing. Provides that otherwise eligible rental property may receive exemption for rehabilitation only once. Provides that exemption may be granted for term of up to 10 years depending on number of units rented to households with annual income at or below 120 percent of area median income under definition adopted by city or county at monthly rates affordable to such households. Requires city's or county's definition of "area median income" to be adjusted for size of household. Requires city or county to adopt definition of "affordable." Provides that ordinance or resolution granting exemption may not take effect unless rates of taxation of taxing districts whose governing bodies agree to grant exemption equal 51 percent or more of total combined rate of taxation on qualified property. Requires exemption to be granted to all eligible rental property on same terms in effect on date application is submitted. Allows city or county to amend exemption, subject to approval process of taxing districts, or terminate exemption, but provides that qualified property granted exemption continues to receive exemption under same terms in effect at time exemption was first granted. Provides for claw-back of exemption savings if county assessor determines rental property does not meet requirements for exemption. Sunsets on January 2, 2027. Takes effect on 91st day following adjournment sine die."

There are ways we can work together and find solutions to the housing crisis in Oregon, and I look forward to working with you and my colleagues in the Capital on solutions. As I have said, "the housing crisis will need many facets of solutions. Like a Cheesecake, HB 2377 (my Affordable Workforce Housing Bill) is only one of sixteen slices of a solution." Fortunately, the majority of economists agree that increasing supply is the best way to deal with housing issues. They also agree that rent control is a bad idea. 


SB 608 should not be a statewide law and will have negative impacts in rural Oregon, especially on the Oregon Coast. It has the potential to drive the already depleted long term rental housing, into short term, vacation rental housing. This will negatively impact our communities and the need for long term housing for our working families. Local Elected Officials have the pulse of their communities around the state and should be the authority over the policies outlined in SB 608. 

For these reasons and more, I have requested amendments that have been presented to the Committee for their consideration that would GIVE LOCAL CONTROL over this issue. They would ALLOW LOCAL GOVERNMENTS the ability to opt-in to the programs outlined in this bill. Please (Click Here) for the amendments. They are the -7, -8 & -9 amendments that would:

-7 allow local governments to opt-in to the bill’s a no-cause termination regime;

-8 allow local governments to opt-in to the bill’s rent control regime;

-9 combine the provisions of -7 & -8.


Please CALL the Legislators and let them know your thoughts about SB 608 - Rent Control, and how it could negatively impact our families and communities. Ask them that if they are going to pass this legislation, that they at least allow local governments to have a voice and ask them to support the -9 amendment. 

You can find the Legislators here. (Click Here)

Committee Members include:

Representative Tawna D. Sanchez (click here) 503-986-1443

Representative Mark Meek (click here) 503-986-1440

Representative Tiffiny Mitchell (click here) 503-986-1432

Representative Sheri Schouten (click here) 503-986-1427

Representative Anna Williams (click here) 503-986-1452


Thank you for your attention to this important matter and I appreciate your involvement in this process. It is an honor and privilege to work for you in Salem. Be safe and God Bless.

Yours truly,


Representative David Brock Smith

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House District 1
Curry, Coos, Douglas & Josephine Counties
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1401
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-379, Salem, Oregon 97301