Rent Assistance for Residents and Landlords

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MHCO Note:  Rent in arrears has become a large problem for community owners as we move out of the COVID-19 crisis.  There has been a lot of media on executive orders banning evictions for nonpayment of rent and grace periods for residents who are falling behind in their rent payments.  There has been less attention paid to the resources that are available for residents and community owners.  Here is some information from Oregon Housing and Community Services and an example of from Lane County on the type of services currently available.  The STARR program has access by county and can be very helpful for tapping local resources.  Please make sure that your residents are aware of these programs – the resident needs to apply but the check typically goes direct to the community owner.  There is nothing in Oregon statute that prevents you from providing this information to your residents - you just cannot be threatening ('if you don't apply I am going to evict you').  You might find these programs provide some ‘breathing room’ as we wait for the Landlord Compensation Fund to get back up and running.


 

OHCS has provided the following information on funds that are available:
 
https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/housing-assistance/Pages/supporting-tenants-accessing-rental-relief.aspx

This list of contacts to the STARRprogram should be the best available resources for folks. 

STARRis newly out but the money is going fast so definitely encourage tenants to reach out to their local CAA at the methods they outline on that page. Hope this helps!! 
 

Below is an example of assistance offered thru Land County.  Check with your local county to see what similar services are available and pass that on to your residents.

LANE COUNTY RECEIVES ADDITIONAL COVID-19 RENT RELIEF FROM STATE OF OREGON

News Release from Lane Co. Government
Posted on FlashAlert: March 11th, 2021 8:00 AM
Lane County Human Services Division has received State of Oregon Supporting Tenants Accessing Rental Relief (STARR) funding in the amount of $4,071,554. This is much needed emergency rental assistance for residents of Lane County who have suffered economic impacts or health disparities due to COVID-19.
 
The new funding, Supporting Tenants Accessing Rental Relief (STARR), was approved by the State Legislature as part of the recent eviction moratorium legislation passed in December.  It is intended to assist tenants who are behind in rent due to financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
In 2020, Lane County and partner nonprofit service agencies distributed $7,110,742.00 in rent assistance to 1,725 households (4,516 individuals) through 34 projects.
 
Applications for the new funding will be open on Friday, March 19, from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PST. This application is for Lane County residents with household income at or below 80% Area Median Income. A link to the online application and information phone line will be posted on the website www.LaneCounty.org/RENT.
 
Applicants for STARR 2021 COVID Rental Assistance program must meet the following criteria:
Be a renter living in Lane County
Have income at or below 80% area median income
Experienced loss of income due to COVID-19 related factors, impacted by business closure due to COVID-19, or experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19
Or diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19, or have compromised health status due to COVID-19
 
To apply, visit www.LaneCounty.org/RENT on March 19 between 7:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. PST. Applicants will fill out a short application that should take approximately 5 minutes. Once the application closes, applications will be prioritized based on income, unemployment history, and need. As applicants are processed they will be contacted to fill out the full application online, including uploading documents (cell phone pictures are acceptable) and verifying landlord contact information.
 
While applying online is the quickest way to receive this assistance, those unable to apply online can call Lane County’s Rent Assistance information line on March 19 for assistance completing the application on the phone. The number is (541) 682-3776. Callers can leave a message with their contact information. Interested applicants will be contacted directly to complete the application over the phone. This service is available in English and Spanish.
 
For more information, visit www.LaneCounty.org/RENT.

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