(…continued from previous section)
After reading the laws, I was empowered with the knowledge I needed to advocate for myself by exercising my rights. My landlord backed down when confronted with the law and allowed me to finish construction. After paying double rent for 2 years, I moved into my home within 3 months.
Nothing can replace the money and time I had lost from not knowing my rights, nor the stress and the opportunity costs from not being able to settle down and spend time on building a life instead of fighting a landlord who didn’t respect the law.
But I have found healing by dedicating my time and skills to park and marina residents to try to make sure that what happened to me will not happen to others. I founded Floating Home Owners (FHO – a group of floating home owner tenants from Gresham to St. Helens who meet to discuss issues at their marinas), as well as a residents group at my own marina. In addition to the volunteer time I spend on education and empowerment efforts in my community, I participate in the Landlord-Tenant Coalition and serve on the Board of OSTA to make legislative changes that improve the lives of park and marina tenants.
By placing myself in the service of others, my volunteered time is my gift to you, but I can attest that my service has paid me back several times over in the knowledge that I have helped others and made a difference in your lives.
Angela Garvin – Floating Home Owner in Portland