Emergency Rent Assistance Program Continues


Photo: ROBYN BECK

Photo: Getty Images

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) will keep the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP) portal open until 11:59 p.m. PDT on March 21, 2022. The state was notified late yesterday by the U.S. Department of Treasury—after numerous requests—that it would be receiving $16 million in additional federal emergency rental assistance funding. The OERAP portal was scheduled to close and stop accepting new applications at 11:59 p.m., March 14, 2022.

“I’d like to thank the Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Treasury for recognizing the urgency of Oregon’s request for additional emergency rental assistance funding,” said Ore. Gov. Kate Brown. “Through strong state and local partnerships, we have taken action to successfully distribute historic levels of assistance to renters and landlords and to get Oregonians the help they urgently need. This new federal funding will help us ensure thousands of Oregonians will continue to have a warm, safe, dry, stable place to call home.”

Oregon’s Governor, federal delegation and OHCS’s Acting Executive Director Andrea Bell recently wrote letters to the U.S. Treasury making the case for additional funding. Because it’s a top performing state in helping a record number of low-income households stay safely housed during the pandemic, the state was technically eligible to receive reallocated funds.

During this historic crisis, the agency served as a national leader in providing rental assistance to more than 41,880 households, which means it supported an estimated 104,600 people in the state. More than $302 million has been paid in the past nine months. 

“I’m overjoyed to learn these additional $16 million in rental assistance resources are on their way to Oregon. These funds will help an estimated 2,200 additional Oregon households remain stably housed,” said interim Director of Housing Stabilization Jill Smith. “Our message to U.S. Treasury remains loud and clear: if other states have money they can’t use – send those dollars to Oregon.”

Due to dwindling funds, the state had paused accepting new applications on Dec. 1, 2021. After the Oregon Legislature allocated $100 million to support renters facing eviction, the portal reopened on Jan. 26, 2022, for a limited time. As of today, 24,478 applications have been submitted since the portal re-opened in January. Based on federal eligibility guidelines, not all submitted applications are eligible to receive payment.

Important information for tenants

  • The OERAP portal will remain open until March 21, 2022, thanks to the additional $16 million in reallocated federal funding.Here is some important information for renters:
  • Anyone who has not applied for OERAP in the past and has fallen behind on rent is encouraged to apply for emergency rental assistance before 11:59 p.m. on March 21, 2022, at oregonrentalassistance.org.
  • Applicants can continue to log on to the OERAP portal to complete their application or check the status of their finished application. They will be alerted by email as their application advances.
  • If a tenant has an incomplete application in the portal, they now have until March 28, 2022, to complete it. This extension applies to applications that are incomplete at the time of closure. New applications will not be accepted after March 21, 2022.
  • 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 applications submitted in 2022 as early as this week.

Source: Oregon Housing and Community Services


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