PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Community agencies and state legislators said Monday they are concerned about the consequences of Oregon’s eviction moratorium expiring on June 30th.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in funding is available to help pay rent, but the state is quickly running out of time to get that money into the hands of the people who need it.
While people have until February 2022, to pay back past due rent, they will have to pay for July 2021’s rent. Not making that payment would legally allow landlords to evict tenants.
Multifamily Northwest Executive Director Deborah Imse said Oregon needs to prioritize people who need help paying July’s rent to prevent a wave of mass evictions across the state.
“It’s going to be unconscionable if there are evictions while there are hundreds of millions of dollars sitting just out of reach,” she told KOIN 6 News Monday.
There is also an expiration date on both state and federal funds. The money set aside for the state-run Landlord Compensation Fund has to be committed to landlords by June 30th. Federal dollars set aside for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program have to be committed by September 30th and 65% of resources must be spent by then. If not, the money goes back to the U.S. Treasury and is then up for grabs to by used by other states.
KOIN 6 News learned no renters who need that help had received money through the program yet as of Friday. Department officials also could not guarantee funds would get out by July 1 or by the funding deadlines.
The Oregon Housing & Community Services provided the following information for assistance programs in response to the COVID pandemic:
- The Landlord Compensation Fund (LCF) Program is funded by the Oregon State Legislature and needs to be expended by the end of the Biennium (June 30th, 2021). You can find more general information about the program here. As well, the media briefing for the announcement of our Third Round of funding is available here as well as the press release for more background.
- The Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP) is a federal rental assistance program from U.S. Treasury that OHCS is administrating with 17 local administrators. The online portal for qualified renters opened on May 19th 2021 and requests can be for 12 months of back rent (starting April 2020) and up to 3 months of forward rent as well as requests for due utilities. Applicants are encouraged to go to www.OregonRentalAssistance.org to learn about eligibility, review the tenant checklists, get tips for success, and watch a step-by-step video on how to apply. Additionally, here is a link to the media briefing we had and the press release. This program must be fully expended by September 30th, 2022 and current guidance from Treasurer is asking that 65% of resources be expended by September 30th, 2021.