Governor Brown must Act NOW to solve Oregon's COVID-19 Rental Housing Crisis
If you have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and need help with your rent, apply for financial assistance today.
Oregon's Rental Assistance Crisis by the Numbers:
Source: Oregon ERA Weekly Report Dashboard by Oregon Housing and Community Services
Available Rental Assistance
Total Amount Requested
Total Amount Paid
September 30th Target
Whether sticking with flawed software, creating cumbersome application processes or opting for inefficient disbursement strategies, Oregon’s rental assistance program has been an unmitigated failure.
Despite Oregonian's overwhelming need for help, hundreds of millions of pandemic rental assistance dollars are currently sitting in Oregon’s bank account.
Housing Provider Compensation Fund
In March of this year Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) launched the archaically titled Landlord Compensation Fund to reimburse housing providers for missed rent payments during the pandemic's state of emergency.
After the agency assured state lawmakers the program would open successfully and on schedule, lawmakers allocated $150 million to the fund in December 2020.
The fund was immediately plagued by technical issues and delays.
Eight months into the program only 46% of funds have been distributed and many applicants have received no communication on the status of their application.
Oregon's housing agency paid $353,765 to an out of state software company to build the program.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
Oregon received more than $280 million in federal rental assistance funding for the program and is now facing a serious deadline. The state is required to assign 65% of the funding by September 30. If the state does not meet this benchmark, the U.S. Treasury can claw back unused funds.
Despite being aware of software issues from the Landlord Compensation Fund roll out, OHCS paid $395,482 to the same out of state software company to manage the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Renters could apply directly to this program for assistance.
The online system has been so dysfunctional, Oregon is now considering switching programs, further delaying distribution of assistance and costing more public tax dollars.
Since the emergency rental assistance program opened on May 18 47,720 applications have been submitted with only 6,515 actually paid out.
To compensate for the broken system, OHCS is contracting with a third party contractor to process between 7,000 and 8,500 applications at a flat rate of $175 per application, costing Oregonians nearly $1,487,500.
Information current as of 9.20.21
Act now to help Oregon's rental community
Oregon's leaders need to be held accountable and Oregonians deserve to know if they are going to receive the help they desperately need.
Complete the following form to let Governor Brown know she needs to act now to help Oregon's renters before the funds are lost.
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Thank you for your efforts to support Oregon's rental community.