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1,000s in C.O. sign petition to freeze rent, mortgage payments

Many residents face uphill climb as jobless rates continue to grow

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The nation's unemployment number is the highest it's been in 2 1/2 years. There's no exact number yet on how many people in Central Oregon have filed for unemployment, but it's certainly on the rise. Some folks living in Central Oregon are now finding it challenging to pay for rent. There's even been a petition started in Bend to freeze rent and mortgage payments.

Sue Carrington, who works at Bend Dutch Property Management, specializes in furnished and unfurnished homes. Her company has started waiving late fees and is currently not charging any sign up fees for homeowners that would like to turn their homes to vacation rentals.

Carrington said she has not heard any of her clients or tenants ask for a lowered rent fee yet but is  willing to work with them to find common ground if it does come to that.

"We are getting in front of it,” Carrington said. “I don't want anybody to feel like they are being treated unfairly. I know a lot of folks think rent has been escalated, so we are trying our best to keep things at a good value."

This week, President Donald Trump announced the Department of Housing and Urban Development would suspend some foreclosures and evictions through April. But that is only for one month, and only applies to homeowners with mortgages insured by the federal programs Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

For Robin Knorr, though, that’s not an option. Knorr is working a zero hour a week schedule. So she’s not technically laid off, but she doesn’t have any income. She recently filed for unemployment after having her rent increased.

"I just feel like this is another burden for a lot of us,” Knorr said. “We are supposed to be here helping each other, not hurting."

"I just feel like this is another burden for a lot of us. We are supposed to be here helping each other, not hurting."

--Redmond Resident Robin Knorr

A local business owner in Bend started a petition that would freeze rent and mortgages to help people like Knorr. John Davis, the man who created the petition is calling it a "Hail Mary."  

"I didn't really think many people would ever sign it honestly,” he said. “Just because you see petitions floating around all the time, and then 24 hours later it was at over 5,000, and I was like, ‘OK people are really paying attention to it.’"

As of Thursday evening, the petition had nearly 7,700 signatures.

Central Oregon / Coronavirus / Government-politics / Top Stories
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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.

Comments

15 Comments

  1. I understand and sympathize for the people in this situation, but this is the dumbest petition in the world with ZERO thought behind it. You want to freeze rent payments…..Well, maybe that rent payment is the income of another person who is struggling and that is their only income. Maybe they invested their retirement into a few rental homes as a way to keep earning an income after they were unable to work themselves. This petition is so short sided and selfish. Not all people that own rental properties are dudes dressed in a top hat and monocle swimming in a bathtub of money. They are hard working people who found an alternative way to make a living by taking the money they did earn and invest it in real estate.

    1. https://ktvz.com/money/2020/03/20/ne-bend-apartments-sold-for-52-million/
      How’s that for Mom and Pop being swindled out of their retirement investment? Let’s be honest here. Yes, your scenario is not out of the question, but most people who invest in real estate rentals can afford to take the loss. I know I have a few tenants who work in the hospitality industry who will need a break over the months to come. If you think that my accountant won’t find a way to write that off you’re obviously unfamiliar with the ways of us McDucks.

      1. You are absolutely wrong! Because one large complex sells you think every little rental property is owned by wealthy folks? wrong, dozens of my clients own rentals and very few of them own them outright or can afford to not collect rents without defaulting on their mortgages!

      2. You are making my point. This stupid petition is a blank petition for a freeze on all rental payments and will affect the few scenarios that you just pointed out, but also will affect the many scenarios that I stated. If you are going to start movement and have people sign a petition, make it a smart, well thought out one otherwise you look like an idiot looking for a handout.

        1. I don’t subscribe to the “all or nothing” theories being promoted here- we need to be focusing on cutting back and conserving for the possible long haul. I for one have no idea what Krazy Kate thinks she’s doing. She appears to be relishing her role as the villain- slashing one jobs sector after another.

          Therefore- after just listening to a local Bend resident detail his plight- of a mortgage well over 3k a month- I would say he try and negotiate 1/2 that payment a month until Kooky Kate decides we’ve had enough punishment and lets those persons deemed “not at risk” back into the work force.

    2. Maybe…but the people who invested their money into rental properties should have known it was a risk. The Real estate market has always been tied to the economy. It has always been impacted during the rise and down turn in the economy. It was a risk they were willing to take… I am not saying I agree with freezing mortgage and rent payments, because eventually these rents and mortgages are going to be due.. but real estate investors should always be aware of this dynamic before they invest…

      1. Yes, investors take a risk on the rise and fall of the real estate market, not deadbeats that are looking for a handout by not paying their rent. Additionally, a real estate investor is no different than the many people that invest in the stock market which also is a risky venture so we should not add blanket stupidity to the risk factor of any investor. If you want to come up with a plan that eases the burden for one individual but then does not just throw that burden onto another individual who is also in the same situation, then I am all for it.

        1. So, a person who was employed most of their entire adult life and was just laid off of work for no fault of their own.. that is your definition of a dead beat?

      2. Your same comment can be said for or about all of us who do not have the recommended 3-6 months of living expenses in our savings account today. That was also a risk they were willing to take.

  2. but, but, but, money!?!? – how could you even consider interrupting the flow of cash upstairs and the widening wealth gap? What could be more important? This is America – lets all go out and hoard more toilet paper to distract us from this foolishness

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