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Oregon lawmakers pass amendment to ‘pause’ evictions

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — With the state and federal eviction moratorium set to expire at the end of June, Oregon lawmakers passed an added safety net for struggling tenants on Tuesday that will “pause” some evictions.

Under the “Safe Harbor” amendment on Senate Bill 278 tenants who are unable to pay their July or August rent would not be evicted for 60 days if they provide proof to their landlord that they’ve applied for rental assistance through Oregon Housing and Community Services.

The amended bill, which passed in the House 56-2 and in the Senate 26-3, will head to Gov. Kate Brown’s desk next to be signed.

An eviction moratorium has been in place in Oregon since April 2020. In addition, last month Oregon lawmakers voted to extend the grace period for past due rent during the moratorium, allowing tenants to have until Feb. 28, 2022 to pay back rent.

While the governor announced earlier this month that she was extending the state’s mortgage foreclosure moratorium through September, she said that she did not have the authority to extend the eviction moratorium.

“That means, by law, Oregon’s eviction moratorium will expire on June 30,” Brown said.

Officials have warned that as the moratorium expires the state would likely see a mass wave of evictions.

In May, 53% of Oregon renters who responded to a survey — or more than 27,000 renters — said that it was “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that they would be evicted from their home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent Household Pulse Survey.

For weeks, state leaders have urged struggling tenants to apply to the state’s rental assistance fund, which has $200 million in federal aid.

Based on data from Oregon Housing and Community Services, as of Tuesday 10,830 households have completed applications for rent assistance with the average request being $6,921.

While Oregon has hundreds of millions of dollars available to pay past due, and up to three months current rent for qualified tenants, high demand has created a backlog that will not be cleared before the eviction moratorium ends next week.

With the “Safe Harbor” amendment, lawmakers say not only will it give the state more time to distribute rental assistance, but that it would also keep tenants housed as they wait for the funds.

Government-politics / News / Oregon-Northwest

The Associated Press

Comments

10 Comments

  1. Sorry landlords. You are out of luck. Good luck with that mortgage.
    I assume the state will suspend payment of property taxes for impacted properties….right? Right? Right?

      1. Yeah, but from my understanding…landlords have to ageee to only recovering 75% of the money that is owed to them AND agree to not sue for the remaining 25%….. howed you fee if you were owed a full paycheck and your boss said…”oh well, If you want any of it, ypu have to only get 75% of the money I owe you and forget about the rest”…. pure theft

          1. Ok, I was off by 5%… still theft though. Maybe evweyone ahoils just py 80% of their taxes this year?

            “As outlined in statute, landlords may be eligible to receive funding for an amount equal to 80% of the rental debt owed by qualified residents. Participating landlords must agree to forgive the remaining 20% of the tenant’s debt as a condition of receiving payment. “

  2. Unfortunately, this is just kicking the can down the road for two months. There are many potential renters with money just looking for a place to rent. Come September 1, the 30 day notices go out. A lot of people will be out on the street. And they will need some legal aid when the landlords take them to court for back rent. I see a lot of bankruptcies.

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