Portland man’s rental assistance sits in review for 6 weeks

Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon continues to face a huge backlog of rental assistance applications, and one Portland man said his payment has still not been issued, despite his application sitting in final review for six weeks.

Kevin Peters lost his job during the height of the pandemic, so in July he applied for rental assistance to help cover 11 months of rent.

He said the program that’s meant to be a lifeline for people has caused him stress as he hasn’t been able to get any straight answers on how much longer he’ll have to wait.

Peters said his application has been in final review for over a month — and just yesterday, his status changed to “Submitted for Funding.”

Oregon Housing and Community Services said the amount of time final review takes varies.

“The stress is just horrendous,” Peters said. “It’s been awful… The non-transparency part of it is just mind boggling, the simple fact that you ask just a couple simple questions and there is no answer, nothing.”

Peters said he’s also concerned about glitches in the system.

He said at one point he was notified documents were missing but wasn’t told what he needed to provide. Then without him doing anything the issue resolved itself.

Peters also said he’s been asked multiple times for information he already submitted. Aside from the chat function on the website, he hasn’t been able to find a phone number to call to speak with anyone directly about his application.

KOIN 6 brought Peters concerns to OHCS and was told they’re looking into his case.

Out of the nearly 45,000 applications submitted statewide less than half have been paid.

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