On September 21, 2016, the City of Bend Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHC) started their assignment from City Council to explore extending the current notice period for “No-Cause” evictions. The committee heard from City Attorney Ian Leitheiser and comments from members of the public. This preliminary meeting proved informative for all parties and brought to light the extent of research that will be required before any action should be taken. The City of Bend has long been considered a leader within the state for prior action on affordable housing initiatives. For this reason, the City Council did not seek to model any changes to the notice period in Bend after those adopted by other Oregon cities this year. Instead, the City Council asked the AHC to research the matter and make a recommendation to City Council based on our unique community.
While advocates for the change spoke to the challenges of finding a new rental within 30 days in this tight rental market, concerns were also raised as to the unintended consequences of extending the notice period like reduced inventory, higher deposits, and more stringent rental screening by landlords. Rental property owners opposed to any extension spoke of restrictive regulations already creating challenges for landlords and further restrictions being a deterrent for new owners looking to enter the rental market.
The committee agreed the information provided served to answer some of the initial questions but raised many more questions which will require further investigation. One of the biggest being would an extension truly serve the community as intended or will the unintended consequences just create more hardship for those seeking rental housing? Participants asked if actual data is available to base a decision instead of the anecdotal information provided by both opponents and proponents of an extension to this notice timeframe. Valuable data for this process would include the total number of renters impacted by a 30-day notice in the last year as compared to the number of rental units in Bend? What percentage of renters are on a month-to-month basis instead of a lease as any action would only impact month-to-month tenants.
The committee agreed to continue discussions on this topic at the next meeting on October 12, 2016 and will work toward answering all of the questions so the best decision can be made for Bend.