Washington County working to ensure housing security

Release date: 03/19/2020
Sponsored by: County Administrative Office

Washington County is urgently working to prevent evictions related to the COVID-19 crisis

 

Updated post: Statewide moratorium on evictions for nonpayment ordered

 

Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order on March 22 forbidding law enforcement officers in Oregon from acting on any notice or order to evict people from residential properties for nonpayment of rent. The executive order, which will be in effect for 90 days, was put into effect at the request of several local and state officials, including the chairs of the elected boards of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties

 

“In taking proactive steps to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, state and local governments need to be mindful of the economic impact these measures have on people throughout our economy,” said Washington County Board Chair Kathryn Harrington. “We are grateful to Governor Brown for issuing this order on behalf of many in our state who would otherwise face possible houselessness just as we need all Oregonians to Stay Home and Save Lives.” 

 

Resources for tenants with questions about their situation include:

  • Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) – Provides assistance with landlord/tenant issues. Contact the Renters’ Rights Hotline at 503-288-0130.
  • Oregon Law Center – Provides legal assistance with a variety of issues including housing. Contact the Hillsboro office at 503-640-4115 or 1-877-296-4076.

 

Original post:

Washington County is working to ensure housing security for all county residents, including those who are concerned with possible evictions as the result of economic distress related to COVID-19. Although current Oregon law does not empower the Board of Commissioners to enact a moratorium on evictions, they have joined with Clackamas and Multnomah County officials to urge Governor Brown to consider a temporary moratorium on evictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. County officials were encouraged that on March 16, Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Walters issued an order to postpone all new eviction proceedings. 

 

In the meantime, all landlords and property managers in Washington County are urged to voluntarily hold off on any evictions while the County continues to seek a solution to this urgent situation. We also ask area hotels and motels to honor housing vouchers to keep vulnerable people in temporary housing. The alternative puts the lives of our neighbors at risk.

 

For all those enrolled in federal housing programs, including public housing, housing choice vouchers and Continuum of Care programs, Washington County Housing Services will ensure that no persons in federal housing programs are at risk of eviction. According to Housing Services Director Komi Kalevor, “If a family loses a job or income due to COVID-19, we will, pursuant to HUD guidelines, recalculate rents due expeditiously.”

With regard to Washington County’s affordable housing portfolio, Housing Services staff are in close contact with property management to track any issues with tenants who are unable to pay rent and ensure their continued access to housing.

 

For more information regarding public housing in Washington County, please go to https://www.co.washington.or.us/Housing/.