Applications now open for $150M Oregon landlord relief fund

Oregon

Oregon Housing and Community Services is now accepting applications online for Landlord Compensation Fund program.

PORTLAND, Ore. (Portland Tribune) — Oregon landlords whose tenants stopped cutting rent checks can apply now for a slice of state relief funding.

The one-time-only funds, carved out in a bill by Oregon Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, offers $150 million in funding for landlords whose tenants filed official declarations of financial hardship during the state’s ongoing eviction moratorium.

Landlords must forgive 20% of their tenants’ back rent in order to receive state compensation for the other 80%.

Oregon Housing and Community Services, the state agency administering the funds, will dole out as much as $50 million each month to landlords until June 2021 — or whenever the money runs out.

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“So if we get $40 million in requests, we would fund the entirety of those applicants that were viable,” OHCS assistant director of planning and policy Natasha Detweiler-Daby said.

Otherwise, “this is a competitive application process per the legislation,” Detweiler-Daby said. “The idea is really to prioritize payment to projects that are from small portfolio owners, as well as those with the highest percentage of rent unpaid.”

For example, a landlord with four units would score 25 points, while one with 101 to 500 units would get just five points.

The fund can only make landlords whole for uncollected rent due from April 2020 to present — and does not cover unpaid damages, fees, utilities or security deposits. Commercial property owners are not eligible.

“This program is available regardless of immigration status,” according to an FAQ prepared by the state.

Lawmakers have also scraped together $50 million for tenants, but those funds will be distributed separately.

How to apply

For landlords: The Oregon Landlord Compensation Fund will accept applications from Feb. 17 until 4 p.m. on March 2, 2021. All applications must be submitted online here.

For tenants: Call 2-1-1 to connect with an appropriate social services organization.

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