Oregon Is Set To Become The First State With Statewide Rent Control


Oregon may soon be the first state to impose mandatory rent control.

Senate Bill 608, which would limit annual rent increases and strengthen tenants’ rights, was approved Tuesday by the state’s House on a 35-25 vote. It had already passed the state Senate on Feb. 11.

Gov. Kate Brown (D), who has expressed support for the bill, is expected to sign it into law on Thursday, her office told HuffPost.

As well as capping rent increases at a yearly 7 percent, plus inflation, the legislation would prevent landlords from evicting tenants without a reason after the first year of tenancy.

A bill to impose mandatory rent control sailed through Oregon's Democratic-controlled House on Tuesday.



A bill to impose mandatory rent control sailed through Oregon’s Democratic-controlled House on Tuesday.

There are exemptions to the rent increase cap, including cases where the rent is subsidized or when tenants leave the residence of their own volition. For month-to-month tenants, the landlords would also have to give 90 days’ written notice before raising their rent.

“This new legislation is one of many actions Oregon needs to take to address our housing crisis,” Gov. Brown said in a statement following the House vote. “While it will provide some immediate relief, we need to focus on building supply in order to address Oregon’s housing challenges for the long term. It also is extremely important to educate tenants and landlords and help them navigate the tight rental market as this new law is implemented.”

Rising rents are an issue in Oregon and in major cities across the country.

Median rents in Salem, Eugene and Bend ― three of Oregon’s largest cities ― have increased by a quarter over the last four years, according to Willamette Week. In Portland, the state’s biggest city, median rents have jumped by 30 percent since 2011, The New York Times reported.

State Rep. Jack Zika (R) expressed concern about the bill’s passage, tweeting on Tuesday that it could “reduce the quantity and quality of housing available.”

House Speaker Tina Kotek (D), in contrast, applauded the bill’s passage, calling it a “groundbreaking tenant protection bill” that “will make a real difference for Oregon renters.”



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Staying In: How to Set a Valentine’s Table for Two, Courtesy of Ajiri Aki


Instead of dining out on Valentine’s Day—in a restaurant packed with strangers and dripping with paper hearts—wouldn’t it be more intimate, in every sense of the word, to stay in? That’s always been our preference: candles, a table set for two, and perhaps pajamas over crowds and cold.

When we emailed recently with Ajiri Aki, the France-based doyenne of stylish, effortless table settings (she runs the vintage tableware shop and linen purveyor Madame de la Maison), we were happy to hear that she feels the same, all the way over in Paris. Here’s how she sets the table for a simple Valentine’s dinner for two—plus her tips for making it just a bit romantic, never fussy.

Photography by Ajiri Aki.

1. Resist the urge to go pink.

Just because it&#8
Above: Just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you should drape the table with all the pink things you can find. “As much as I love pink everything, I wanted to go with a simple, soft, romantic look using the orage tablecloth and sable napkins,” Ajiri says. “The orage linen is grey-ish blue, kind of like a storm. Orage means storm in French. It’s a soft color palette without going full-on pink.”

2. Choose petite flowers over big bouquets.

In lieu of a big (quite possibly overpriced) bouquet or centerpiece, tuck just a few small stems into mix-and-match glass jars. This is an intimate dinner at home, remember; the scale should be small. Ajiri used vintage apothecary bottles and vanity jars; simple jam jars work, too.
Above: In lieu of a big (quite possibly overpriced) bouquet or centerpiece, tuck just a few small stems into mix-and-match glass jars. This is an intimate dinner at home, remember; the scale should be small. Ajiri used vintage apothecary bottles and vanity jars; simple jam jars work, too.

3. Sprinkle some roses.

Above: “I always add one little stereotypical element that connects to the holiday,” Ajiri says. For a romantic touch, she scattered a handful of dry rose buds down the center of the table.

4. Use the good china.

Keep the meal simple, but serve it with favorite pieces. &#8
Above: Keep the meal simple, but serve it with favorite pieces. “These mussels in white wine sauce take a whopping 20 minutes to make, but they are always served in beautiful antique finds,” Ajiri says.

5. Embrace imperfection.

Let the table be a little beautifully imperfect, not prim or overdone.  &#8
Above: Let the table be a little beautifully imperfect, not prim or overdone.  “I rarely iron my linens because I find the texture beautiful,” Ajiri says.

6. Sit kitty-corner.

Set two places kitty-corner from one another. It&#8
Above: Set two places kitty-corner from one another. It’s more casual than facing each other—and you won’t have a table between you.

P.S. See more of Ajiri’s entertaining tips in Joyeux Noël: How to Throw a Holiday Party the French Way. And here’s our original feature on her work: Vintage French Style You Can Rent: Madame de la Maison in Paris.



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RealPage continues growing, set to acquire Modern Message


Real estate tech company RealPage announced this week that it will be acquiring multifamily real estate engagement solution Modern Message.

The platform’s flagship product, Community Rewards, builds engagement through a fully mobile UI that is “motivating, rewarding, fun and interactive” for property residents, the company said.

“Modern Message provides a unique boost to our already powerful resident engagement platform,” said Jon Pastor, senior vice president of consumer solutions at RealPage.

“The two solutions joined together to enable our clients to give residents a rich rewards experience, boost ancillary revenue, resident loyalty and reputation scores, and see greater adoption of their RealPage solutions,” Pastor added. “In short, we will be able to offer clients and residents the full potential of a resident portal.”

This is an effort to reach greater resident loyalty and referrals, boosting property reputation and value in the long run.

The acquisition will go hand-in-hand with RealPage’s ActiveBuilding resident portal platform, which offers payments, resident communication and monetization of multifamily properties, the company said.

RealPage says it plans to combine the two platforms and create a renter engagement solution with significant benefits.

“This is a great time to become part of the RealPage team,” said John Hinckley, o-founder of Modern Message. “ActiveBuilding will be the perfect gateway to deliver Modern Message’s resident engagement programs to a broader industry audience while maximizing results. We are also looking forward to exploring new opportunities that may arise from the combined platform. It’s beyond exciting.”

This comes about a month after RealPage acquired real estate property management solution provider Buildium.

RealPage said it plans to retain Modern Message’s employees. The completion of the acquisition remains subject to certain standard closing conditions, which RealPage anticipates will be satisfied shortly, according to the release.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.



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