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Eugene family fights back against 'injustice' at low-income housing agency

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EUGENE, Ore. - A Eugene family is fighting back against what they're calling an injustice at a low-income housing agency.

Monitka and Jerry Bunner say they've had this pit in their stomachs for months.

They're one of 5,000 families who rent through Homes For Good, a Lane County housing agency for low-income tenants.

The Bunners pay rent at 30 percent of their monthly income.

But last August, the Bunners received a letter from the agency saying their rent would increase because their two adult sons moved back home with them. The new rent would cost about $500 more, starting in just three days.

“If a right goes unnoticed, basically it's the same as not having a right,” said Luke Kuzava, the Bunner’s lawyer.

Kuzava says Oregon state law requires landlords to give a 90 day notice if they're going to increase rent.

“It caused hardship for my sons because they had to immediately move into situations that necessarily weren't the best,” said the Bunners.

The agency would not do an on-camera interview, but they did issue a written statement:

The rent increase has been corrected with a 90 day notice and it won't be effective until march 2019.... When mistakes were made our staff worked to correct them.

But the Bunners still have other expenses, like the cost of hiring a lawyer since they don't qualify for legal aid.

The Bunners say their headaches didn't end there. They also received a 30-day notice that they would have to move to a smaller house within the agency.

They say the letter was open-ended, leaving them wondering when they should start packing up.

The agency has since corrected the notice.

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Now the Bunners say they want to move out of the agency completely, but they say they have been denied by two other properties because of poor rental references from homes for good.

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