Oregon Law-makers Draft Outline to Gov. Kate Brown to Extend Eviction Protections for Renters.
This week Governor Kate Brown of Oregon has received a letter stating the need for executive action from the Oregon legislature’s housing committee in order to help renters in imminent danger of eviction. Lawmakers have already passed a set of safeguards that allow renters that can prove they’ve applied for federal emergency rental assistance a 60-day pause on evictions. Unfortunately many are still waiting to be paid as a massive backlog is creating a possible eviction cliff as lawmakers work in order to extend the eviction pause to 120 days.
Even though Oregon has already distributed more than 65% of allocated funds from the U.S. Treasury daily incoming applicants still number in the thousands and the turnaround for processing is forecasted at 10-13 weeks, far beyond the 60-day pause in evictions currently passed by the Oregon legislature. Many are worried that over 20,000 Oregon renters face the possibility of eviction as they wait for their applications to be processed or dollars to be distributed.
Oregon legislature’s housing committee is also urging OHCS to make improvements to the Allita 360 web portal as well as other flexibilities allowed by the federal government in order to speed up the application process. This includes allowing applicants to self-attest to their posted financial information as well as removing barriers that make the process burdensome for low-income families and those who do not speak English as a first language.
Outreach and messaging still remain an enormous hurdle as well. Many renters have already been forced to leave their apartments without even knowing the options available to them. A coalition of Lawyers from the Oregon Law Center has established response to the eviction crisis in the form of an eviction defense project, which aims to provide help to those that have begun to lose hope that they may ever receive protections and show them what options are available to prevent eviction.
Read the Full Article by OPB here