WASHINGTON, DC [02/14/2022] – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici led members of Oregon’s congressional delegation – including Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Representatives Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, and Kurt Schrader – in calling for additional emergency rental assistance funding to be sent to Oregon.
The letter to the Treasury Department supports a request made by Oregon Governor Kate Brown. Congress created the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in December 2020 to prevent families and individuals from being evicted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and President Biden’s American Rescue Plan extended the program. Oregon received $289 million from the two rounds of Emergency Rental Assistance Program funding, but the state faces a shortfall in the wake of the omicron variant.
“Many working families in Oregon were already struggling with housing costs or covering rent before the pandemic upended their lives and our economy,” the members wrote. “Federal rental assistance has been a critical lifeline for them, and we must continue to make it available for people when they need it most.”
The members noted that Oregon Housing and Community Services projected that, despite historic investments using funds from the American Rescue Plan to deliver additional rental assistance, the state will not be able to meet the demand of both new applications and those that have already been submitted.
The full letter can be found here.