Rising rents and low vacancy rates in Portland’s rental market have increased risks for low- and moderate-income tenants; therefore, the City intends to proceed with caution for this segment of the market. Advocates for housing affordability have expressed concerns about landlords passing on the costs of energy assessments to tenants, potentially exacerbating problems with rising rates of eviction and displacement. However, equity advocates also recognize the tremendous benefits energy efficiency delivers to tenants and low-income homeowners by reducing the amount they pay each month in energy bills, improving indoor air quality and reducing street noise. Energy efficient homes are quieter, healthier and more comfortable. Energy efficiency remains a highly cost-effective strategy to keep housing affordable and durable over the long-term.
BPS will work with stakeholders to better understand the dynamics in the single-family rental market and establish metrics and targets to monitor over time. Example metrics include rental housing supply and housing affordability. Timing also would be considered in conjunction with other housing affordability policies.
The City may ask Council to establish a resident- and community-based oversight committee to work with BPS on developing this aspect of the policy over a specific period of time. This approach has delivered positive outcomes on other BPS projects.