Portland to offer financial help for residents hurt by pandemic

By Meerah Powell (OPB)
Oct. 24, 2020 9:41 p.m.

The city will start accepting applications for $500 debit cards on Tuesday.

The city of Portland Friday announced the launch of a new coronavirus assistance program. Starting Tuesday, eligible Portlanders will be able to apply for $500 in household assistance to help with costs for food, medicine, rent and utilities.

“The City of Portland’s emergency response to the COVID-19 crisis prioritizes housing stability, food security and support for the most vulnerable in our community,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a statement. “This household assistance program will help ease the daily struggle of those who are most deeply impacted by the pandemic’s severe economic impact.”

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The city partnered with the United Way of Columbia-Willamette to distribute 2,800 prepaid debit cards. The cards will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis and in two application windows, the city said in a news release.

The application window for the first 1,400 cards opens on Oct. 27 beginning at 9 a.m., and the remaining 1,400 cards will be distributed on Oct. 30 beginning at 1 p.m. All applications must be submitted online through the PDX Assist website.

To be eligible, people must be at least 18 years old and Portland residents. They must have experienced a loss of income or elevated health risk related to COVID-19 and have a household income at or below 80% of the area median income. For a household of two people, that amount is $58,960.

The program is part of a $36 million investment in coronavirus-related housing relief measures by the city and Portland Housing Bureau.

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THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:
THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:

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