March 16, 2022 — SALEM—Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) will keep the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP) portal open until 11:59 p.m. on March 21, 2022. The state was notified late Monday by the U.S. Department of Treasury — after numerous requests — that it would be receiving $16 million in additional federal emergency rental assistance funding. The OERAP portal was scheduled to close and stop accepting new applications on March 14.
Oregon’s governor, federal delegation and OHCS’s Acting Executive Director Andrea Bell recently wrote letters to the U.S. Treasury making the case for additional funding. Because it’s a top performing state in helping a record number of low-income households stay safely housed during the pandemic, the state was technically eligible to receive reallocated funds.
During this historic crisis, OHCS served as a national leader in providing rental assistance to more than 41,880 households, which means it supported an estimated 104,600 people in the state. More than $302 million has been paid in the past nine months.
“I’m overjoyed to learn these additional $16 million in rental assistance resources are on their way to Oregon. These funds will help an estimated 2,200 additional Oregon households remain stably housed,” said interim Director of Housing Stabilization Jill Smith. “Our message to U.S. Treasury remains loud and clear: if other states have money they can’t use — send those dollars to Oregon.”
Due to dwindling funds, the state had paused accepting new applications on Dec. 1, 2021. After the Oregon Legislature allocated $100 million to support renters facing eviction, the portal reopened on Jan. 26, for a limited time. As of today, 24,478 applications have been submitted since the portal re-opened in January. Based on federal eligibility guidelines, not all submitted applications are eligible to receive payment.
Important information for tenants
The OERAP portal will remain open until March 21, thanks to the additional $16 million in reallocated federal funding. Here is some important information for renters:
OHCS will begin processing and paying out applications submitted in 2022 as early as this week.