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Oregon Eviction Wave Leaves Thousands on Hold for Pandemic Assistance Relief

Oregon renters are left in limbo as an eviction wave begins to roll over the state as Federal funded systems enacted by state and local governments are having trouble processing applicants who are eligible to receive pandemic assistance dollars. State and local employees have voiced concerns over a burdensome process that is complex and has many requirements, including some that may be difficult for low-income families to acquire such as recent pay stubs. This has led to a statewide outreach by local government and community groups in order to help those that require assistance in completing applications and follow up inquiries.

Even with the help of community volunteers, the state of Oregon is seeing an increase in residential evictions that many worry will only balloon in number in the next months. Oregon Law Center and Legal Aid Services of Oregon have since teamed up to help tenants who do not have legal representation. In addition, the OHCS has been increasing the pace at which emergency rent assistance has been disbursed to tenants that are behind on their monthly rent payments.

In spite of the fact that Oregon has only distributed 21% of the money available to Oregon residents, that number is growing at an increasing rate as more aspects of the application and approval process are refined and more staff members are hired. The state also has a 211 phone number available for anyone to call with questions on eligibility for emergency rent assistance and what options are available to them.All of the hard work of government workers and local volunteers alike will hopefully begin to work through the massive backlog at a speed that will get dollars into the hands of tenants and landlords before federal funding and eviction moratoriums run their course.

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