Oregon bill that would impose mandatory rent controls heads to governor's desk

Oregon bill that would impose mandatory rent controls heads to governor's desk
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Oregon on Tuesday came one step closer to becoming the first state to impose mandatory rent control laws after legislation passed the state House.

The House voted 35-25 to approve the measure, which previously passed the state Senate, according to The Associated Press. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Kate Brown (D), who is expected to sign it.

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Under the bill, landlords would only be able to increase rent once per year and couldn't raise it by more than 7 percent plus inflation. It also prohibits landlords from evicting tenants without cause after the first year of residency, the AP reported.

The measure is set to take effect immediately upon Brown's signature. Democrats have said the law is necessary to counter a housing crisis in the state.

“In every corner of Oregon, individuals are facing an emergency,” Democratic Rep. Tawna Sanchez told the AP. “From women fleeing domestic violence, to working families in communities big and small trying to get by, to indigenous people who struggle to find a safe and secure home, this crisis touches all of us.”

Republicans have argued that the measure will worsen the housing crisis by discouraging landlords from investing in property.

“Reduction in landlords means a reduction in housing, plain and simple. This is the wrong solution for the whole state to make owning rentals so unpleasant that people simple stop getting into the business," Republican Rep. Kim Wallen told the AP.