PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Wednesday brings the beginning of a new month—and for millions of Americans, that means rent is due.
What can Oregonians expect if they can’t afford to pay rent this month because of the coronavirus? Right now, there are statewide bans on residential evictions in both Washington and Oregon but some people say they’re worried they won’t be able to pay back that accumulating rent once the COVID-19 crisis ends.
The moratorium on residential evictions in Oregon lasts for 90 days starting March 22 while Washington’s is 30 days for non-payment of rent starting March 18. Multnomah County’s ban lasts six months. This ban is giving renters six months to repay those missed payments, but Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury says things are changing so quickly that at some point, they may come pack and extend the payback period to a year.
County officials stress you need to be in contact with your landlord and notify them of your job loss or significant cut in hours by April 1. They’ll likely need proof that coronavirus has impacted your paycheck. Have a pay stub or layoff notice from your former employer ready to present.
In Oregon, landlords can start an eviction process but they can’t force a tenant out.
“I’m at a higher risk of getting coronavirus and being more seriously ill because I am immune compromised,” said Myra Haq, a nanny who is currently out of a job. “I do worry about having a roof over my head like the rest of the city as well because if people are evicted, the disease is only going to spread further.”
Portland City Council
On Wednesday, Portland City Council presented a letter calling on state and federally-elected leaders to temporarily forgive all rent and mortgage payments for those income- or expenses-impacted by COVID-19.
Homeowners may be able to defer mortgage payments if they can demonstrate a substantial loss of income due to the pandemic. If you have loans backed by the federal government — federal agencies have enacted suspensions or deferrals on mortgage payments.
Call your mortgage servicer for more information.
In cities like Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York and even in Portland, there’s are growing movements for rent strikes. Organizers want federal lawmakers to put mortgages on pause so landlords can help renters.
They’re asking for a three-month rent cancelation — because they don’t want a huge bill at the other end of this crisis.