PORTLAND, Ore. – Skyrocketing rents in Portland have some people declaring a “renters’ state of emergency.”

Hundreds turned out to rally in Peninsula Park on Tuesday evening, outraged about the cost of rent.

They said they can’t predict how high their rent will go, and they said they know many people who have been forced out of the city because of rising rents.

They demanded the city do something to rein in the rising cost of rent.

Depending on the location, some people have seen a threefold increase in rent in the last decade.

Real estate broker Harlan Mayer said Portland is developing a better quality of city living and that’s driving the demand from all over the country.

“It’s neighborhood commercial that actually drives the value of residential property,” he said. “As neighborhoods get more walkable, as there’s hipper restaurants to eat in in the neighborhood, then people want to live there more and then there’s more demand. And then the qualifications of the people moving to Portland have increased dramatically.”

The biggest factor in the rising rent crisis is the population boom in the Portland area the past five years.

Right now more than 2 million people live in the Portland metropolitan area. That includes Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Columbia and Yamhill counties in Oregon. And Clark and Skamania counties in Washington.

Since 2010, an estimated 116,000 people have moved in, which is more than the population of Gresham. Portland’s growth surge is the 15th fastest among the country’s 50 largest metro areas.

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