The last pandemic-related, statewide eviction protections ended Sept. 30.
Until last week, Oregon tenants who had applied for emergency rental assistance had so-called “safe harbor” protection from eviction for nonpayment. That’s no longer the case.
In addition landlords will now be able to resume the use of 72-hour eviction notices for nonpayment of rent.
Both landlord and tenant advocates agree that the state Legislature should take up long-term emergency rental assistance in their next session.
“I think this is one thing we can all get behind,” said Jason Miller, legislative director for the Oregon Rental Housing Association, a group which represents landlords. “There needs to be rental assistance and I think we can all get behind the fact that we need to speed up this process because we don’t want everybody sitting in limbo.”
Miller says in order for it to work, the Legislature needs to find a way to fast track the processing of rental assistance.
Oregon’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program paid out more than half a billion dollars to about 130,000 people. But it sometimes took months to get the money to landlords.
“I think many of the protections that were put in place during the public health emergency were that kind of common ground, they were sensible,” said Community Alliance of Tenants Executive Director Kim McCarty. “I think both from the tenant perspective and the landlord perspective, slowing down the process, giving people a chance to get the resource and the help and then pay their rent is the sensible solution.”