Oregon Continues Emergency Payments to Renters and Landlords

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is processing for payment applications submitted through the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP) which stopped accepting applications on March 21, 2022. As of today, the agency has paid out $340.3 million in emergency rental assistance to 51,780 households.

The state has received the additional $16 million the U.S. Department of Treasury allocated in March. The funds were reallocated from other states to high-performing states such as Oregon, demonstrating both speed and continuing need.

As application processing and payout of new applications received after Dec. 1 continues, the program identified a sizeable number of recent applications that were over income or did not meet minimum eligibility criteria in the compliance phase. Program staff are reaching out to tenants to verify documents and ensure the basic eligibility criteria are met before moving forward with the standard denial process for those that do not qualify before redirecting available funds to other eligible applicants.

OERAP staff and customer support vendors have launched a recertification phase in response to feedback from local partners for tenants who may need additional support. Beginning next week, program staff will reach out to current applicants with applications in the system who may not have requested the full 15 months of assistance allowable by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Eligible tenants who previously applied and have unpaid rent balances or need a few additional months of assistance to be made whole will be contacted by the program. 

The OERAP portal remains closed to new applicants; however, local-level assistance is available for applicants who meet minimum eligibility criteria from Community Action Agencies. Landlords can be reimbursed for eligible non-payment costs such as rent and late fees incurred during the “safe harbor” period by applying to the Landlord Guarantee Program. Tenants with questions about local-level resources and supports can call 2-1-1 to be connected with their regional Community Action Agency.

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