PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers have passed a bill that gives tenants who are struggling with financial hardships due to the pandemic more time to pay past-due rent.
Tenants currently have until July to pay back rent, but under Senate Bill 282 tenants will have until Feb. 28, 2022. The bill passed the House Tuesday with a vote of 39-17 and goes to the governor.
The measure protects renters from the long-term impacts of not making payments on time by barring reporting to consumer credit agencies and removing back rents from consideration when submitting future rental applications. The measure also bars potential landlords from screening out applicants based on COVID-era evictions and prevents pandemic evictions from appearing on a tenant’s record.
In March, more than 17% — or nearly 158,000 Oregon renters who answered a survey — said they were not caught up on their rent payments, based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent Household Pulse Survey.
In addition, 11% of Oregon renters who answered the survey said they have no confidence that they will be able to pay the next month’s rent.
Opponents of the bill have argued that the measure would hurt landlords and is “a band-aid solution” for tenants.