By: Sage Coleman, ORHA President
Fellow Oregon Landlord Members of the Oregon Rental Housing Association,
This President’s Letter is a Call to Action. It is time that we rally together as a unified group and make our voices heard loud and strong to each and every Legislator in the State of Oregon.
Based upon the outpouring of emails, phone calls and Facebook posts from our membership it has become apparent that there is being created within our membership a new class of disaster victim requiring relief.
We hear you and our Executive Committee is working to create an ongoing plan to reach out to Oregon Lawmakers and insist that they change course to provide relief to Landlords in need as well as to level the landlord/tenant playing field.
I encourage every person reading this to use the buddy system and make sure to inspire AT LEAST TWO other Landlords to engage in this process.
We must be genuine, persistent and consistently clear in our messages to relay the unique personal facts of our experiences as rental housing providers to Oregonians in 2020.
Please take a few minutes to express specifically how events over the past year are causing you, your family and business harm. Use the links provided below and email your message to your Congressman, Senator, Speaker of the House Kotek, Kate Brown and our office. We will be compiling your messages to share with our Legislative Director and our Lobbyist that they may use them in their discussions with Legislators.
Please use the following format as a guide:
- How many rental units:
- Short Personal Story: *Show these legislators that you are real working class Oregonians.
- How have Oregon Legislative Decisions negatively impacted you in 2020?: Be specific. Try to avoid abusive and inflammatory language towards tenants and the Oregon Governor’s office and Oregon Legislature. WE UNDERSTAND that some tenants are taking gross advantage of the circumstances made available to them by the Governor and the Oregon Legislature. However, the politics of the current landscape REQUIRE that we REFRAIN FROM DILUTING OUR MESSAGE OF REAL PAIN by bashing tenants or democrats. Stick to the facts of damage being caused to you and we will have their attention.
Things to consider including in your letter:
- How has the lack of rent impacted your financial situation?
- Are you having to use savings to pay the mortgage, pay bills, buy food, utilities, etc.?
- Have you tapped into your retirement savings to pay bills, mortgage, etc.?
- Have you placed your mortgage in forbearance? If so, when is the forbearance due: at the end of the forbearance period or tacked onto the end of the mortgage? This is an added expense.
- Are you facing foreclosure?
- Are you only paying the interest on your mortgage?
- Are you facing bankruptcy?
- Was there scheduled maintenance that has been delayed due to the lack of rental income? If so, is this a habitability issue that has to be corrected?
- Are you paying bills with a credit card, when in the past you paid with the rental income?
- Were you or your next of kin going to move into your rental unit but were delayed by the Executive Orders and HB 4213?
- Are you seeking mental health counseling due to the financial stress?
- Have you lost so much income that you are going to food pantries or applying for SNAP benefits?
On behalf of our General Board and Executive Committee I would like to thank you for being a part of this organization and for taking the time to read this letter. Last but not least we would like to share that, while it is true that emotional ranting will detract from making change with our messages, it is more important to send your message and make your voice heard. It is not our intent to censure you but to represent you well by tuning our voices so that we will be heard as one voice with the greatest impact. Say your piece. We need your participation. This will be an ongoing process requiring You to reach out to your Representatives and Senators through emailing, mailing, phone calling and traveling to Salem to give testimony in person when the time comes. Members of our Executive Committee will follow up this call to action with a personalized call to action each month. Change will not come quickly nor will it be easy.
Take the first step. Do it now.
Thank you for your participation with this critically important project and also for contributing what you can to the Oregon Rental Housing Key Political Action Committee (ORH KEY PAC): https://oregonrentalhousingpac.org/donate
Together we can,
Sage Coleman - President
Oregon Rental Housing Association