Oregon rental assistance needs at all-time high

Coronavirus

Oregon legislature addressing the issue to prevent mass evicitions on July 1

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Rental assistance is available to help prevent a wave of evictions when Oregon’s eviction moratorium expires June 30. But the state can’t get it out fast enough.

On Monday afternoon, the Oregon legislature talked about adding additional protections for those waiting for help. The proposed amendment doesn’t extend the statewide eviction moratorium but it would keep people who have applied for the rental assistance from getting evicted on July 1 while they wait for funding.

If passed, it would mean a tenant can’t be evicted for 60 days if they provide documentation to their landlord that they’ve applied for rental assistance. The Oregon Housing and Community Services said more than 16,000 households have started or completed the application to get rental assistance.

Deborah Imse, the executive director of Multifamily Northwest said they’re against this extension because landlords also can’t afford to wait any longer for funding. She said she’s heard from many who have had to file for bankruptcy or sell their homes altogether.

“It’s time for accountability,” Imse said. “We saw what happened with regard to technical problems, as well as other problems on the unemployment system. And the failure on the part of the state as far as rental assistance is every bit as dire.”

Landlord Compensation Fund

The state said it’s never had this many emergency rental assistance programs and has never seen the need this high. That’s why they need more time to get the money out.

Another person who testified in favor of the extension said housing providers and tenants need to partner together to keep people housed because it’s going to cost even more to get people back into homes if they’re evicted.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.

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