Ordinance extends 60-day renters’ protection to 90-day period

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Sponsored by: County Administrative Office

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, the Washington County Board of Commissioners adopted by unanimous vote the Emergency Ordinance 880 which would extend the 60-day tenant protection period in Senate Bill 278 (2021) to a 90-day period. It is effective immediately.

With the adoption of the county ordinance, a tenant would now have 90 days of protection from eviction rather than 60 days of protection, after the tenant shows the landlord proof of an application for rental assistance. Once the application is completed, tenants will receive a notice that the application was received. Tenants should share this confirmation with their landlord to be protected from eviction for nonpayment of rent for an additional 90 days if they live in unincorporated Washington County and 60 days if they live in other incorporated areas of the county.

To help understand jurisdictional boundaries, County staff will be creating a map to confirm eligibility for the 90-day extension. Check this page regularly to access the mapping feature.

“This pandemic has threatened not only our community’s health but also our economic well-being, and the impact of both has been disproportionate to those who have been historically underserved for generations,” said Board of County Commissioners Chair Kathryn Harrington. “We know that 40% of rental units are in unincorporated Washington County, this extended moratorium allowed by state law will provide thousands in our community the chance to stay in their homes while also providing our local economy time to build back needed jobs and identify other sources of income.”

In August, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal eviction moratorium extension which was put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention that left some renters in Washington County facing possible evictions. Other challenges include a backlog of applications at the state and county level until payment disbursement, capacity to handle the volume of applicants as well as racial disparities highlighted by the pandemic.

Washington County’s Community Action Organization has been working with culturally specific agencies and public health contact tracing staff to process applications. Expansion of these efforts continues to be explored. For information on emergency rental assistance and other resources visit www.co.washington.or.us/Housing/ or contact 2-1-1 online at www.211info.org or by calling 2-1-1.

In adopting the ordinance, the board acted as the County Board of Commissioners and not the local health authority. The ordinance therefore only applies in unincorporated areas of the county. Cities could adopt similar ordinances to protect their residents in the incorporated areas.

We encourage County residents to apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance program. To learn more on how to apply for emergency rent assistance, follow this link https://www.co.washington.or.us/Housing/COVID-19/index.cfm or visit the Community Action webpage to receive assistance for submitting an emergency rental assistance application https://caowash.org/programs/housing-stability/renter-support.html.

Media Contact:

Silvia Pereida, Public Affairs and Communications Coordinator