By The Skanner News | The Skanner News Published: 04 January 2021
Thanks to the passage of an extension of the eviction moratorium and additional funds to help pay back rent, December 31 does not bring the risk of eviction to renters who have faced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are a few important elements of the legislation for both renters and landlords to keep in mind:
- Evictions for non-payment: Now prohibited until July 1, 2021 for tenants who qualify based on financial hardship and who file a declaration with their landlord.
- IMPORTANT: To access protections under the state law, a tenant must give their landlord a signed declaration of financial hardship. There are legal penalties for submitting a false declaration.
- Tenants can find information and the declaration form in English and in Spanish at www.oregonlawhelp.org.
- Tenants still owe rent, but eviction and credit history protections apply until the end of the moratorium.
- New rent assistance resources funded: $200 million for rent assistance, to help tenants and landlords with unpaid rent obligations:
- $150 million to a landlord compensation fund that can be accessed by landlords through Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS).
- If a landlord applies for and receives payments from this fund, a tenant’s back rent is taken care of.
- $50 million in rent assistance that can be accessed by tenants through community-based organizations.
- Tenants must apply for these funds individually. Payments go directly to landlords towards resolving rent debt.
- New grace period to pay back rent owed where landlord compensation fund or other rental assistance hasn’t resolved the debt:
- Until March 31, 2021 for all tenants
- Until July 1, 2021 for hardship qualifying tenants
- Most no-cause evictions prohibited until July 1, 2020.
Tenant financial hardships that occurred between March 16, 2020 and June 30, 2021 to allow landlords to qualify for compensation fund:
- Loss of household income.
- Loss of work or wages.
- Increased medical expenses.
- Increased caregiving responsibilities for children, people with disabilities, people who are elderly, people who are sick or injured
- Increased caregiving costs.
- Other circumstances that have reduced income or increased expenses during this time.
More information for tenants in English and Spanish in text and video can be found here. Resources in additional languages are coming soon. Information for landlords on how to apply for the fund can be found here.