Is Oregon Poised For An Eviction Crisis When The Eviction Moratorium Ends?
Oregon’s Statewide eviction moratorium comes to an end on July 1st, 2021 but the big question is could be see another eviction crisis in the state once it ends?
The answer to this question is yes and no. The good news is that thanks to Federal Relief money that’s been available since May, thousands of renters across Oregon have been able to pay their rent but not all renters have been notified of the relief funds and they are still struggling to pay their rent.
What does this mean for renters in Oregon? Those who are behind on their rents could find themselves facing eviction by July 1st unless Governor Brown steps in and extends the eviction moratorium.
Will The Eviction Moratorium Be Extended?
Although it was helpful to keep renters off the streets during the height of COVID-19, the eviction moratorium has also been controversial because it’s taken money away from owners and made it difficult for them to stay afloat financially.
At least 6,700 people, as of June 1, are asking for a portion of $204 million in federal rent assistance that became available in May so they can pay their July rent.
The exact number of people who face eviction is impossible to pin down. However, one thing is certain: Laura Venegas of Portland and her children are among them.
She and her family already know how it feels to lose their home. They lost it once before.
“I was able to find permanent work, and we were fortunate enough to be able to get back into our home — a second chance that most don’t get,” Venegas said during a virtual town hall May 25 hosted by the Community Alliance of Tenants.
“Then COVID hit and changed everything,” she said. “I had to stay home to provide care and schooling for my son.”
Venegas finds herself further and further behind in her rent to the point where she and her children face being homeless again next month.
“There are thousands of families with homes similar to my story,” she said. “I hope we can extend the eviction moratorium so, like myself, thousands of others don’t end up losing the only place they call home.”
That appears unlikely to happen.
Charles Boyle, the governor’s deputy communications director, told Street Roots that Brown already signed Senate Bill 282 to give renters until Feb. 28 next year to pay their back rent but that current rent will still be due come July.
If they need money for rent from July to September, Boyle said, they can apply for help through programs such as the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
At this point, he said, Brown plans to let the moratorium expire on schedule.
“Gov. Brown has worked since the beginning of this pandemic to keep Oregonians housed and to provide a range of resources to support both renters and their landlords,” he said.
She should do more, Kim McCarty told Street Roots, and so should legislators.
McCarty, executive director of the Community Alliance of Tenants, attended an informational meeting on rent assistance June 4 hosted by the House Committee on Housing. “What I heard makes me panic,” she said.
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