State Action to Protect Renters
While the state is in various stages of re-opening, the numbers of COVID-19 cases are going up and the future is uncertain. The Oregon Emergency Board recently approved $55 million in rental assistance for households making less than 80% Area Median Income, but there is no concrete plan for when or how those funds will be available, and it is unlikely to be enough to assist all Oregonians in need. As the eviction moratorium expires, we can expect a large wave of evictions that will disproportionately harm and displace BIPOC communities.
What we need now is bold and urgent action from our state leaders. This Wednesday, June 24, the Legislature will meet for an emergency session to discuss both police reform and COVID relief. As renters, It is crucial that we make our voices heard on what kinds of measures we need to stabilize our housing, and our lives.
Email Governor Brown and your local reps, and tell them we need:
An extension of the eviction moratorium.
A rent freeze for the duration of the emergency (retroactive to April 1) and for at least three months after.
Rent debt forgiveness to provide relief for impacted households, and a relief program for landlord expenses (such as mortgage, staff, maintenance) using the $55 million appropriation that will enable industry sustainability, NOT subsidize landlord profits. This will make the funding more impactful by helping more Oregonians.
We want legislators to hear from as many people as possible, so feel free to use our premade message. However, if you have time, include your personal story! If this hasn’t impacted you, it probably has impacted someone you know. It is important that policy makers understand the true cost of not taking these bold steps.
Portland Tenants United Organizing Committee