SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) announced that as of Jan. 19, 2022, OHCS and local program administrators (LPAs) have paid $243.6 million in federal emergency rental assistance (ERA) to 34,900 households, up from $235.4 million and 33,770 applicants last week, through the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP).
OERAP continues to be one of the nation’s top-performing programs and is ranked sixth in the nation, in the percentage of federal ERA funds paid out and obligated, as tracked by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
OHCS will again begin accepting new applications for OERAP starting on Wed., Jan. 26, 2022. This will be a limited reopening based on availability of funds. The agency estimates to have sufficient funding to support between 6,700-9,300 renters. Households with the most need will have priority in accessing these resources, not a first-come, first-served basis.
The agency says it’s important for renters to know that applications received on or after Jan. 26, 2022, will be processed after applications received before Dec. 1, 2021, and to expect a delay prior to processing and payment. Importantly, because of the passage of Senate Bill 891 (SB 891), tenants who apply on Jan. 26, 2022, or after may receive safe harbor protections that prevent landlords from evicting tenants until their OERAP application is processed. SB 891, passed by the Oregon State Legislature this past December, also directed OHCS to prioritize processing applications received before Dec. 1, 2021.
Other rental assistance is available in many localities in Oregon through local programs that are operating independently from OERAP. Tenants applying for these programs can qualify for safe harbor eviction protections. People can contact 211 or Community Action Agencies in their area.
Through its three-point plan, OHCS and its processing partner, Public Partnerships LLC (PPL), have made significant strides in the past several weeks to speed up application processing. Currently, 265 PPL staff are focusing on processing applications. In the past week alone, PPL paid 2,336 applications. This is in addition to the applications processed by LPAs working across the state to finish paying out ERA 1 funds.
To date, OHCS and LPAs:
You can stay up to date with all of OHCS’s rulemaking and future engagement opportunities on their website.