Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler won office in spring 2016 promising the creation of an Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs to educate landlords and tenants, clarify rights and responsibilities, and mediate disputes. In the spirit of Portland D.I.Y., we thought, why wait? This mobile, faux office on a bicycle trailer is a research project asking the question, what can art do that government can't?
The Mobile Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs will conduct ongoing research and dialogue with the public, develop bureaucratic props, games, workshops, and other tools, and lend creatively “official” support to current grassroots housing organizing. It will be a meeting point for exploring and proposing new economic logics at the intersection of government authority, homes, market forces, and the utopian imagination.
If current housing logic leads to chronic insecurity, systemic displacement, root shock, and tent cities for the many, then maybe what’s needed is a different logic.
Spectate or Speculate! at Portland City Hall
in collaboration with Eric J Olson
The Mobile Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs and Eric J Olson explored supply-side arguments for solving the housing crisis. We invited the public to maximize their profits through Real Estate Investment Trusts, and the response was overwhelming! "Are you worried about rent being too damn high? Do you want to secure your financial future? Do you want to get your slice of the pie, or do you want to watch from the sidelines? In today’s overheated real estate market, The Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs brings you a fun new way to get in on the speculation spectacle! Why deal with the headaches of being a landlord when you can invest in housing the high-tech modern way…. from far far away? Let’s speculate our future away!"