Portland, Oregon – Going On Strike. Some renters in Southeast Portland say they’ve had enough with a new out-of-state landlord, and they’re rallying in front of City Hall this morning to announce a new rent strike. Tenants at Holgate Manor say landlord Fred Kleinbub from California,who took over the property in January, keeps raising the rent and ignoring health concerns like mold. They claim their demands are being met with silence. Residents voted on Monday to start the rent strike.
Read more from the Holgate Manor Tenants Union and Portland Tenants United:
Portland, OR— On August 1st, the tenants of Holgate Manor Tenant Union and members of Portland Tenants United will hold a press conference in front of City Hall at 10:00am to announce the beginning of a rent strike, next steps in the campaign to preserve the affordable housing at Holgate Manor, and to demand that City Council to pass a “Holgate Manor Tenants Act”.
Speakers include Representative Rob Nosse (District 42), Margot Black (PTU), Emily Golden-Fields (DSA), Gregory McKelvey (Portland’s Resistance), and representatives from Holgate Manor Tenants Union and Living Cully.
Holgate Manor has been a sanctuary for immigrants, refugees, and low-income Portlanders for over 40 years. In January of this year, millionaire California landlord Fred Kleinbub bought the building. Holgate Manor tenants formed a union in response to his ongoing attempts to displace them through misleading letters, rent increases and constructive eviction.
After over five months of constant construction and remodeling, all while mold and vermin remain unaddressed, the Holgate Manor Tenants Union’s demands are still met with silence. The tenants met on Monday at Kenilworth Presbyterian Church and voted overwhelmingly to begin a rent strike.
Yesterday, Holgate Manor tenants and supportive community members presented a demand letter to Princeton Property Management. This letter, reiterating the demands of a letter sent via email and direct mail the previous week, demands that Princeton rescind the rent hike, refund a portion of rent for all months construction was occurring, fix all health and safety issues in the building, carry out all communication with tenants in the languages they speak, and recognize and negotiate with the Holgate Manor Tenants Union. Princeton locked the door of their office and refused to meet with tenants.
Holgate Manor is one of many buildings with similar stories. The Holgate Manor Tenants Union, Portland Tenants United demand meaningful legislation to end this cycle.
PTU organizer Anthony Bencivengo explains:
“The Holgate Manor Tenants Act is meant to prevent another mass displacement, such as what is being threatened at Holgate Manor, and such as happened in the Cully neighborhood with the Normandy Apartments, and the Titan Manor Apartments before that. We cannot keep letting profit-driven landlords displace hundreds of residents who are deeply rooted in their communities. The City has a responsibility to its citizens to take action.”
The Holgate Manor Tenants Act is a set of common sense policies that will help to prevent tenants
Holgate Manor Tenants Act
Tenant Opportunity to Purchase (a campaign launched by Living Cully)
An initiative launched by Living Cully, owners would be required to give tenants and the city ample notice of an intent to sell the property, and right to purchase it before an outside buyer.
Increase Relocation amounts for tenants of a multi-family building displaced after a sale.
Require that all no-cause & for-cause eviction notices, and rent-increase notices, must be recorded by the city.
Amend Portland’s historic relocation ordinance to eliminate the threat of notices that trick tenants out of their rights, and relocation.
Landlords must provide ALL notices and required forms in a tenants preferred language.
To support the Holgate Manor Tenants Union, please donate to their strike fund at https://www.gofundme.com/holgate-manor-strike-fund and sign their Change.org petition (http://bit.ly/hmtu-petition) You can learn more by contacting HolgateManorTU@gmail.com or texting “HOLGATE” to 444999.
KXL has been following the story for months.