February 13, 2019 – Oregon Food Bank supports a proposal currently under consideration by the Oregon Legislature aimed at stabilizing housing for Oregon renters. We believe that the connection between housing and hunger is undeniable. We have heard first hand from people facing food insecurity that they are faced with the impossible choice between rent and food. Fear of evictions and the inability to find an affordable place to call home hurts all of us.

Senate Bill 608 offers several practical, balanced solutions for renters who continue to face skyrocketing rent increases and sudden evictions as Oregon contends with an ongoing housing crisis. Nearly 40 percent of Oregonians rent their homes.

SB 608 would change the law so that renters who pay on time and follow the rules can only be evicted if a landlord has a cause and gives notice. It limits the amount rents can be increased to once a year at no more than 7 percent plus inflation and allows landlords to re-set the rent when a rental unit is vacated. It exempts new construction for 15 years.

Oregon Food Bank will continue to advocate for increased housing access and stability, increased food security for communities and investment in safety net programs that buoy our families. We thank the Senate for their actions so far, and we urge House members to swiftly pass this legislation.