PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With the residential renters eviction moratorium looming, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approved an extension through the end of 2020.
The existing moratorium is set to expire September 30, meaning renters would have only been covered by a limited federal moratorium by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“When renters wake up on October 1, they’ll know that they’ll be covered by the same protections as they were the day before,” Chair Deborah Kafoury said in a statement. She said this would help to limit “as much anxiety and confusion as possible.”
The board of commissioners also voted to extend the Multnomah County state of emergency over the pandemic through January 8, 2021.
Simply put, “renters in Multnomah County cannot be evicted from their homes just because they can’t pay their rent” through that January date.
Renters in the county still have to pay their back rent, but will have 6 months to do that, with the grace period beginning January 8, 2021. That means back rent will be due in full by July 2021.
Officials said the Portland City Council is expected to “mirror” the Multnomah County eviction moratorium next week.
“Our jurisdictions are united in protecting our community and creating the foundation for a safe and sustainable recovery,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a letter Kafourty read before the vote. ”Thank you for your leadership and your partnership.”
Kafoury knows that this is a stopgap measure.
“At some point the rent will come due,” Kafoury said in a statement. “While we are avoiding mass evictions at this moment, we really need the federal government to pass” additional rental assistance and tenant protection measures, “to help not only renters, but also landlords.”