CAT AF ENDORSEMENTS
AND VOTING PERSPECTIVES
CAT Action Warns Oregon Voters:
"Beware of Knute Buehler"
Community Alliance of Tenants Action Fund warns Oregon voters that Knute Buehler is bad for Oregon's housing crisis, and bad for renters.
In every house district across the state, over one-third of renters are spending more than 30% of their income on rent. In some districts, the majority of renters are paying over half of their income on rent. This is dangerous because the higher our rent is, the less money we have to afford basic necessities. Many renters across the state are forced to make unthinkable decisions between paying rent or putting food on the table, taking care of their health, putting gas in the car, or having childcare. Student homelessness is on the rise. Some districts cite displacement from no cause evictions and rent-increases as primary drivers. As a matter of fact, a recent study found that Oregon ranked number one for student homelessness. Healthcare providers describe difficulty in controlling chronic conditions due to housing stressors. Employers explain exacerbated turnover and attendance issues from workers that have to travel hours just to provide for their families. Workers are overburdened as families must work two to three jobs just to keep a roof over their heads. Every sector of our economy is affected by a lack of tenant protections.
Oregon’s next governor must demonstrate a strong commitment to bringing real solutions to the table. We cannot meaningfully solve Oregon’s housing crisis without grappling with means to stabilize excessive rent increases, loopholes that allow housing discrimination, and overburdened social safety net services from new homelessness.
Knute does not demonstrate the leadership we need for Oregon renters. Knute has been given the opportunity to engage and refused to respond to multiple requests to discuss his plans to address the housing crisis. To add insult to injury, our research discovered that Knute voted against HB2004, which would have ended no cause evictions in the 2017 Oregon legislative session. Knute’s recently released housing plan and record demonstrate a jarring lack of understanding when it comes to the deep connection between Oregon’s lack of tenant protections and rising homelessness. Instead, Knute’s housing plan feeds a false narrative that treats houselessness as a crime and furthers stigmatizes this vulnerable population. While affordable housing production is definitely a need, his plan to support housing development is severely unbalanced. This is alarming given that in some areas across the state, there are thousands of units that remain empty while people sleep in their cars and on the streets. Instead of taking a comprehensive approach to solving our housing crisis, his plan is shallow and uninformed, throwing pennies at a situation in an amount that wouldn’t even cover the cost of one housing development. Further, his plan calls for unrealistic goals of ending homelessness by 2023 with no substantive plan of action except shoving families in shelters or jails that offer little chance of permanency. Clearly, Knute’s plan falls short of any kind of substantive, long-term solution to our housing crisis and homelessness.
As if this isn’t enough, when we researched Knute’s campaign contributions, we learned that he has received tens of thousands of dollars from folks who have spent millions of dollars fighting any kind of stronger laws for renters.
To all Oregon renters across the state: Beware of Knute Buehler. He cannot be trusted to ensure renters are reasonably protected. Knute’s record, partnerships, and lack of engagement show that not only will he work against protections for you and your family, but he will likely ignore you when you try to talk to him about it. Furthermore, for our neighbors who own their homes, you can be assured that Knute Buehler’s housing plan will likely exacerbate our housing and humanitarian crises.