Tenants sue over terms of affordable housing complex

Residents of an Oregon affordable housing complex say their living conditions are inhospitable and they want their rent back.

Tenants of the Allen Fremont Plaza in northeast Portland gathered in the courtyard of the three-story complex on Wednesday, describing mold, vermin and people who don’t live there camping in the indoor common areas of the building, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Tenants Gary Bailey, John Brant, Huey Martin, Cathy Mayes and Lisa McConnell filed lawsuits against Reach Community Development Corp. in Multnomah County Circuit Court. The affordable housing provider, which took over operation of the building seven years ago, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Emily Templeton, the attorney who filed the pro bono lawsuits, said each plaintiff is seeking reimbursement of $14,400 for rent paid, as well as a court order to resolve the issues. The lawsuit is limited to issues from the past year, but the documented complaints date back to 2013, she said.

“This lawsuit is just about getting Reach executives to finally do something,” Templeton said.

Residents are also concerned about accumulation of trash, exposed wiring, lack of an on-site manager, drug dealing and substance use, inefficient ventilation, fire hazards and inadequate sealing, according to the plaintiffs.

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