The Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) today began again accepting new applications for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP).
This will be a limited reopening of at least three weeks, based on availability of funds. The agency estimates there are enough funds to support 6,700-9,300 additional renters, who will be prioritized based on those who have the most need, not on a first-come, first-served basis. OHCS was forced to pause the intake of applications on December 1 because the agency did not have sufficient federal funds to serve additional renters.
“We are grateful that the Oregon Legislature and Gov. Brown came together to provide more resources for rental assistance and eviction prevention programs, which will keep thousands more Oregonians stably housed during this critical time,” said OHCS Executive Director Margaret Salazar. “During the pause in accepting new applications, several OERAP system improvements were also implemented that we hope will make the application process and payments more accessible to renters, community partners and landlords. We appreciate the time and energy partners spent in providing valuable feedback that helped bring along these improvements.”
To serve the most households, applications are being offered for first-time assistance only, and the program will not be offering utility assistance. Tenants seeking utility assistance may access additional Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) resources at the local level from community action agencies. Renters who submit new applications can access protections from eviction for nonpayment of rent while their application is being reviewed and processed. OHCS will begin processing these new applications and paying out funds in about three to five weeks. Applications for tenants who applied before the OERAP application pause on Dec. 1, 2021, will be processed before applications received on or after Jan. 26, 2022, as directed by the Oregon Legislature.
Important information for tenants
- Tenants can apply for OERAP at oregonrentalassistance.org or contact a local community action agency. Applying for OERAP is now easier because the application has been streamlined and simplified based on feedback.
- Tenants can use this simple checklist to gather their documents in advance.
- Paper applications in languages other than English are fully translated and can be found here.
- Applications received on or after Jan. 26, 2022, will be paid after prioritization criteria has been applied based on remaining funding available and are not guaranteed.
- This will be a limited reopening of at least three weeks, based on availability of funds.
- Tenants who submit new applications can access protections from eviction for nonpayment of rent while their application is being reviewed and processed. Tenants must show proof to their landlord that they applied for the program to receive the protections.
- OHCS will begin processing and paying out new applications in about three to five weeks.
- Tenants at immediate risk of eviction should apply for rental assistance right away to access safe harbor protections and also contact a legal organization.