Hundreds rally in response to Portland housing crisis

Protesters gather outside Portland City Hall on Friday night, Jan. 15, 2016 to demonstrate against rising rents. (Photo: KATU)

Hundreds gathered in front of Portland City Hall on Friday night in protest of Portland's rising rent. Sign-slinging demonstrators, accompanied by dozens of supporters demanded rent control and more renter-friendly eviction rules.

Joe Clement is a Portland renter and a part of Portland Tenant's United. The Portland native is currently living with friends after, he says, he was forced out of his old apartment when a developer bought the property.

"That I think is really the issue -- getting outside of the mindset that we have to deal with this ourselves. We can't deal with this ourselves and that's why we're here tonight," Clement told KATU News during the rally. "I am a tenant who has been displaced and not yet priced out, but you see it happening more around me."

As soon as the speeches wrapped up, the crowd quickly moved into the street, posting handwritten "public notices" where they listed their grievances and at some points blocking traffic. A partially masked protester was also seen spray-painting an office window.

Among the marching crowd was supporter Sarah Allen. She and her husband do not rent themselves but, like many, have friends that do.

"I have some friends that they have been homeless before and now, you know. There might be risk of getting homeless again because their rent is going up and, you know, a lot of my friends have had to move out of communities they have grown up in," Allen said.

KATU News reached out to Mayor Charlie Hales during the rally outside City Hall. We have yet to hear back.

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