Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has extended the state’s moratorium on mortgage foreclosures through the end of this year.

That means Oregonians who are struggling to make payments on their homes due to economic loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will have a few extra months to catch up.

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The moratorium laid out by House Bill 2009 was initially scheduled to end June 30, but provisions of the bill gave authority to Brown to extend it twice. The first extension guaranteed homeowners safety through at least Sept. 30. They’ll now have until Dec. 31.

In a statement Monday, Brown said she considered the surge in infections and hospitalizations caused by the delta variant when making her decision. HB 2009 laid out a deadline of Aug. 16 for Brown to extend it for the second time.

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The Oregon Health Authority reported 1,785 new cases Friday and an additional seven COVID-related deaths. The state also reported three straight days last week of record breaking hospitalization numbers, with 733 patients as of Friday.

“Extending the temporary residential foreclosure moratorium another three months will prevent removal of Oregonians from their homes by foreclosure, which would result in serious health, safety, welfare, and financial consequences, and which would undermine key efforts to prevent spread of COVID-19,” she said.

According to Brown, the moratorium not only helps homeowners, but also landlords leasing property to residential tenants.

In her statement, Brown said the extension will allow landlords flexibility to continue working with tenants who are having a hard time paying rent.

Rental evictions have been placed on a pause through August for tenants who can prove they’ve applied for rental assistance through Oregon Housing and Community Services. Multnomah County took it one step further and extended the pause period through the end of September.

The state is still in the initial stages of deploying both the Emergency Rental Assistance program and Homeownership Assistance Fund to support tenants, homeowners and landlords.

Brown also encouraged Oregonians who have fallen behind on their mortgage to reach out to a housing counselor in their community to explore what options are available to remain in their home.

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