Every day I ride my bike by the house at 20 Noyes St. on my way to work. The charred structure still smells like the fire that took the lives of six young adults. It is so sad.

And it is also tragic that there is no outrage against a system that allows shortcuts with impunity. We can’t blame the city. With current resources they can’t be in every building, and they will show up the same day if somebody makes a serious complaint. But why are there few complaints?

The reason is that in a tight renters’ market, the tenants can’t afford to risk their landlords’ wrath. I suggest that if a tenant complains to a landlord of a serious violation, and the landlord fails to remedy in three days, then the tenant should get three months’ free rent for blowing the whistle.

Andy Schmidt

Portland


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