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Oregon to start accepting emergency rental assistance applications

The program starts on Jan. 26 and will run for three to five weeks, depending on availability of funding.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) will begin accepting new applications for the emergency rental assistance program starting at 10 a.m. on Jan. 26. The program was paused in early December due to "dwindling funding and the need to make system improvements," OHCS said in a news release on Friday.

OHCS did not give a specific deadline for submitting applications, but said the program will run for three to five weeks, depending on availability of funding.

Households with the most need will have priority and application selection will not be based on a first-come, first-served basis. OHCS will first process applications received before the program paused last month, and then applications received on Jan. 26 will be processed. The agency believes it has the funding to pay between 6,700-9,300 additional applicants.

RELATED: Special session: Oregon lawmakers pass rental assistance funding, extend eviction protections

As of Jan. 12, the state has paid more than $235 million to landlords and tenants to help 33,770 households. 

OHCS released the following information for renters who plan to apply:

  • Tenants who apply on Jan. 26 or after can receive safe harbor eviction protections that prevent landlords from evicting tenants until their application is processed. Tenants must show proof to their landlord that they applied for the program to receive the protections. Tenant applications will be paid based on remaining funding available and are not guaranteed.
  • Applications still awaiting landlord/tenant response at the time of closure are subject to funds remaining when application is finalized and approved, and prioritization scoring is applied and are not guaranteed for payment.
  • Tenants at immediate risk of eviction should apply for rental assistance right away to access safe harbor protections and should contact a legal organization.  
    • Oregon Law Center’s Eviction Defense Project: 888-585-9638 or evictiondefense@oregonlawcenter.org
    • Oregon State Bar: 503-684-3763 or legalhelp@oregonstatebar.org
  • Tenants should expect a delay prior to processing and payment but can count on accessing their safe harbor eviction protections immediately. 

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