Portland voters have decided to keep the city’s rent control policies intact.
A citizen-initiated proposal would have exempted landlords with nine or fewer units from Portland’s rent control ordinance. But slightly less than two-thirds of voters rejected the measure Tuesday, according to the city of Portland’s unofficial results released at 11 p.m.
“Portland is a city of tenants,” said Buddy Moore, chair of the Livable Portland campaign. “We’re in the midst of a housing crisis, and I think that tonight we saw our community, once again, voice their overwhelming support for tenants’ rights.”
It was the third time in a year that Portland voters have considered making changes to the city’s 3-year-old rent control ordinance.
Brit Vitalius, the president of Rental Housing Alliance of Southern Maine, which backed the change, said the proposal was intended to bring relief to mom-and-pop landlords, but he’s not surprised by the outcome.
“It doesn’t seem like Portland is interested in hearing from housing providers and landlords in the community. That’s the reality. That’s the world we’re in. That’s the city we’re in, and we’re going to stop fighting it. It’s a waste of time. It’s been a waste of money. It’s been a waste of everyone’s efforts.”
Portland voters approved a measure last November that gives tenants at least a 90-day notice of rent increases. And earlier this year, voters rejected an initiative that would have eliminated a 5 percent cap on rent increases when a unit changes hands.
This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.