PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon’s ban on evictions will end in 30 days with regular rent payments set to resume on July 1.
There will be no more emergency moratorium protections, but people have more time to pay back rent past due. That grace period has been extended through the end of February 2022.
The first eviction moratorium in Oregon was put in place 14 months ago and has been extended more than once. There have been countless calls for rent forgiveness from some government leaders and community groups, including the Community Alliance of Tenants.
“Cancelling the rent is going to make it possible for people so buried under debt that they will never be able to recover financially if they don’t get help,” said CAT Executive Director Kim McCarthy.
CAT recently hosted a town hall where researchers laid out renter hardships and the consequences both renters and the economy will suffer without rent forgiveness.
“About 20% of the tenants that we surveyed were collecting cans and bottles for deposit to try and make ends meet and another 15% were selling household items,” said Portland State University professor Lisa Bates.
Bates said PSU has led some of the research on the issue.
“We did find about three quarters of those tenants were paying at least some of their rent every month,” she said. “Two-thirds of these folks have said they cannot pay their back rent debt.”
So far, 391 million dollars in federal and state funds have been given toward rental assistance. But there has been some confusion surrounding the amount of remaining unpaid rent.
“However we estimate that tens of thousands of Oregon households are still behind on rent and collectively owe $170 million in rent debt,” said Michelle Huang, a data analyst with PolicyLink.
Oregon landlord groups however say that based on monthly surveys, the amount of statewide unpaid rent could be as high as 1.4 billion.