Emergency Rental Assistance
The U.S. Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance program makes available $25 billion nationally to assist households that are unable to pay rent, utilities, and other housing-related expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this program, eligible renting households may receive assistance to help stabilize their housing. Assistance may include current and past due rent, current and past due utilities costs, and other expenses related to housing. Additional assistance may be provided if determined necessary.
Oregon’s state-wide eviction moratorium ended on June 30, 2021. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) extended the eviction moratorium end date to October 3, but on August 26 the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the extension, ending the eviction moratorium.
We encourage County residents to use this extended opportunity to apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance program. Accessing rent assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program is important for tenants to stay in stable housing. We encourage tenants to cooperate with their landlords and to sign a tenant declaration of financial hardship form if they have not done so already. The program and application process for Washington County residents are managed by Community Action.
An “eligible household” is defined as a renter household in which at least one individual meets the following criteria:
- Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
- Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
- Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).
Maximum income for Washington County eligibility based on persons in the household:
1 resident: $54,150
2 residents: $61,900
3 residents: $69,650
4 residents: $77,350
5 residents: $83,550
6 residents: $89,750
7 residents: $95,950
8 residents: $102,150
Community Action Application Phone Number: 503-615-0770 (call Mondays beginning at 9:00 a.m.)
If you are a homeowner and are in need of mortgage assistance, contact your lender to determine if they offer any programs to defer or delay mortgage payments. In addition, the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative has established a COVID-19 Mortgage Relief Program. That program's last round of applications ended in March 2021, but be sure to visit the program web site at https://www.oregonhomeownerhelp.org to see if additional rounds of applications will become available.
Emergency Rent Assistance (ERA) provided by the US Treasury, to Washington County, is required to serve eligible and qualified tenants with rent arrears and prospective rent assistance. An eligible household is determined to be any qualified household which can demonstrate need and has verifiable income at or below 80% of the area median income. All rent payments are made directly to each property manager or owner.
In addition, the treasury requires ERA recipients like the county to prioritize those with incomes at or below 50% of the area median income as well as those that are subject to more immediate eviction. In order to do so the county has implemented the following;
Selected a subrecipient, Community Action Organization, to deliver the rent assistance who has a long history of primarily serving those that have incomes at or below 30% of the area median income,
Executed an agreement with the subrecipient which specifies the aforementioned priorities,
Includes nine culturally specific organizations selected by the subrecipient to perform ERA intake for specific populations of color whom are generally households of lower income,
Requires reports with each reimbursement invoice that include household income, and
Performs review of selected case files to verify the income reported throughout the tenure of the funding.