Dear friends and fellow landlords,

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday, even if it was only a Zoom gathering with family and friends.

I thank all of you who have been writing, calling, and emailing our state legislators as they debate the current round of proposed legislation. It has been a particularly frustrating time for small landlords across the state. As far as I am aware, ours is the only industry that has been forced to continue operating and serving our customers (tenants), whether they are able to pay or not. We must continue to demand real leadership from city councils to the state legislature to the governor’s office. “Kicking the can down the road,” is not leadership. Although most of our members have been able to survive during the eviction moratorium, there are many who have lost a significant portion of their income and who face more losses in the next several months. They should not have to carry that burden alone. I am hopeful that when the legislature meets in December, the likely extension of the eviction moratorium will be accompanied by funds made directly available to landlords that have been impacted the most.

It seems clear to me that 2021 will bring a new normal for all of us. For me, the results of last month’s elections were moderately encouraging. In the city of Portland, anti-landlord council member Chloe Eudaly was defeated by Mingus Mapps, who will at least listen to landlord concerns.  At the state level, while Democrats still hold a supermajority, they also still require cooperation from Republicans to form a quorum to conduct business. It is not much, but some of the more outrageous proposals that pop up from time to time (like rent forgiveness) will likely be held in check.

The encouraging results for potential vaccines reported by several pharmaceutical manufacturers this past month are also reason to be hopeful. Americans should have access to at least one COVID-19 vaccine by mid-2021. Until that time, we will continue to forgo our dinner meetings and in-person classes, but it will not be long before we are able to meet again in person. We will continue periodic virtual member meetings to provide you with updated information; our November meeting had good participation and provided some valuable insight into navigating the current eviction moratorium. Please join us by Zoom in December for our installation of new officers.

My term as President of Rental Housing Alliance Oregon is coming to an end. As much as I have enjoyed working on your behalf over the past two years, I am happy to be passing the reins of leadership back to Ron Garcia, whose experience and expertise is especially welcome during these challenging times. I am also happy to report that our 2021 President-Elect is Melinda McClelland, a small landlord like me and most of our membership. I hope you will support both in the coming years. Though I am stepping down as President, I will continue to support RHA’s efforts to obtain financial relief for our members who have been particularly hard-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hang in there, have a Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year!