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Portland offering free legal services to low-income tenants facing eviction

If you qualify, you can reach out for these free legal services as soon as you are served a notice of eviction.
Credit: KGW

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Housing Bureau, in partnership with the Oregon Law Center and Portland Community College’s Clear Clinic, is offering free legal support for low-income tenants facing eviction.

Tenants can seek legal services as soon as they receive a notice of termination and do not need to wait until an eviction case is filed.

There are currently Safe Harbor Protections under SB 891 for tenants who have applied for emergency rental assistance.

The deadline to apply for federal assistance from the state has been extended one additional week, the state announced on Monday. The deadline to apply is now Match 21. Anyone who has not applied for emergency rental assistance before, who has fallen behind on rent payments due to COVID-19 are encouraged to apply by 11:59 p.m. on March 21 at oregonrentalassistance.org. Anyone waiting on a decision on their application cannot be evicted for nonpayment so long as paperwork has been provided to their landlord. That protection extends through July 1, 2022.

Oregon Housing and Community Services will begin processing 2022 applications as early as this week, the state said in a press release.

For anyone not waiting on an application to be processed and are in need of legal services because you have been served a notice of eviction, you must meet the following requirements to receive free legal support:

  • You must rent a unit within Portland City limits. You can verify by using this map.
  • You must be low-income (80% Area Median Income or below)
    You can estimate that using this calculator
  • You must be facing eviction. One of the following applies to you:
    * You have received a termination notice that has not yet been filed in court, or
    * You have received notice about the pending loss of your housing subsidy, or
    * You have an eviction court case

If you qualify and need assistance you can call 888-585-9638 or email evictiondefense@oregonlawcenter.org

There is a cover letter that tenants can use to make their landlord aware of their rights under SB 891 if needed.

There is local rental assistance still available, find more information about if you qualify and how to apply here.

For more information about resources available to tenants facing eviction, you can visit this website, which has eviction help for renters.

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