Frequently Asked Questions
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about Portal Closure
How can I find help once the portal has closed?
If you have a partial application in the system, you can finish it. Please complete your application before 11:59 p.m. PST on March 28. We will not accept applications after March 28, so it is important to finalize it before then. New applications cannot be submitted after 11:59 p.m. PST on March 21.
I applied for rental assistance, when will I know if I will receive help?
Households with the most need will have priority in accessing these resources, they are not distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. We cannot guarantee a timeframe for application review and processing. Applications are not guaranteed for payment and are subject to prioritization scoring and funds remaining when the application is finalized and approved.
Can I still finish my application if I did not submit it by March 21?
Oregonians in need of support can call 211 to be connected with services and support. You can also find a list of Community Action Agencies by county here.
Will more funding be available in the future through this program?
We understand there is still a need for help paying rent but are not aware of any future OERAP funds being directed to this program. Local assistance is available. Please contact 211 to be connected to resources in your area.
If funding becomes available, will you accept new applications?
If there is an opportunity to reopen the program, OHCS will consider this option.
Do safe harbor protections still apply?
All safe harbor protections expire on Sept. 30, 2022. To be protected, tenants must apply for rental assistance and show proof that they have applied to their landlord by June 30, 2022, or at or before any first court appearance, whichever is sooner. Learn more about safe harbor.
About the Program
If I submitted an application, will I definitely receive assistance?
Everyone who applies will have their application reviewed, but funding is not guaranteed and is not first-come-first-served. It will be distributed based on need. For more information about how applications are prioritized, see the Prioritization Information page.
If I receive assistance, do I have to pay it back?
No. This assistance is not a loan and does not have to be paid back by the tenant if the funds are used as approved and do not duplicate other assistance programs.
If I receive assistance will my other benefits like food stamps and housing assistance be impacted?
No. If you receive this assistance, it will not impact your eligibility for any federally funded program such as SNAP, Medicaid, Medicare, social security, WIC or public housing.
If your landlord won’t take payment directly, we may offer the funds directly to you to pay overdue rent. Those funds would not be considered income for federal tax purposes and would not impact your eligibility for federally funded programs. If you receive a benefit that is not federally funded, please check with the benefit administrator.
What costs will be covered?
You may request rent assistance back to March 13, 2020. Prior past due rent is not eligible. The Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program will cover up to 12 months of past-due rent and three months of fouture rent.
Is there a maximum amount of how much assistance is allowed?
No, there is generally no cap on the dollar amount of rent assistance. However, there is a limit on the total number of months of assistance that can be received. The program can provide twelve months of assistance, starting from March 13, 2020 – present, with the possibility to pay future rent for three months. Additional limits may be imposed depending on the availability of resources.
Can I request more than one month of assistance?
Yes. Approved applicants may be eligible for twelve months of assistance, starting from March 13, 2020, with the possibility to pay future rent for three months. You are encouraged to request three future months of rent coverage when you apply for past rent if you expect to be living in that unit in the future. You may need to provide additional information to confirm that you are still eligible for assistance and assistance depends on available resources.
Can the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program cover late fees?
Yes. Some late fees can be covered and should be listed on a rent statement or ledger from your landlord.
What fees are covered?
Assistance will cover fees that are directly tied to your housing stability and that are charged by the landlord. Examples include:
- pet fees
- parking garage fees
- storage fees
- amenities fees
You can also include relocation expenses, which may include rental security deposits, and application or screening fees if a household has been temporarily displaced due to COVID-19. Hotel and motel costs are not covered.
Is there a waitlist?
There is no waitlist. We want to ensure that any applications received are able to be paid, and cannot guarantee the funding will cover all applicants.
How do I know if the email I received is from a legitimate source?
It’s important to be aware of scammers who may try to steal your information. To ensure the information you receive is accurate and complete, double-check that the organization is a reputable governmental, tribal or nonprofit partner. The best way to stay informed is to log into the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program application portal and check your application status. Learn more about how to avoid scammers.
Important Information about Limited Reopening
Important Information about Expected Processing and Payment Wait Times During Limited Reopening
SB 891 directs OHCS to first process applications received before the Dec. 1, 2021 pause. Applications received on or after Jan. 26, 2022, will be processed after those applications are processed. Tenants who complete an application may receive safe harbor protections that prevent landlords from evicting tenants until their application is processed. However, those tenants should expect a delay prior to processing and payment. Households with the most need will have priority in accessing these resources, not on a first-come, first-served basis. Processing on the new pool of applicants will not begin immediately. Additionally, applications received on or after Jan. 26, 2022, will be paid based on remaining funding available and are not guaranteed. Applications still awaiting landlord/tenant response at the time of closure are subject to funds remaining when application is finalized and approved, and prioritization scoring is applied and are not guaranteed for payment.
Paper Application Support
Community Action Agencies are continuing to serve as a resource for paper application support. If you need a paper application, would like help completing your application or would like to drop off your application contact the CAA in your community. You can also mail your application directly to your local CAA for them to upload and submit. In the event the portal closes, paper applications will be honored based on their postmark date. Applications are available in multiple languages.
OERAP Applicant Call Center
OERAP is pleased to announce the launch of an applicant call center available to tenants who have successfully completed an application and received a tenant protection letter with an application number. Applicants with general questions about the program or questions about utility assistance should continue to call 211 to be connected to wrap around services and supports. Tenants or landlords inquiring about a specific application submitted prior to December 1 should call the phone support team during regular business hours: 844-378-2931. Please have your application number handy so that customer support staff can look into your file. Applications received during 2022 will not be processed until the prior applications are processed as per new legislation outlined in SB 891. Did you know you can check the status of your application online and read answers to many of the most frequent questions? Visit https://www.oregonrentalassistance.org/ to learn more.
Important information about Portal reopening
Did the application process change after the portal pause?
The requirements for documentation and eligibility rules, however, remain the same. Several system improvements have been implemented based on valuable feedback from community partners. Those improvements include a streamlined and simplified application complete with plain language review, updated support features along with specialized application submission assistance. The OERAP program staff appreciates the time and energy that partners spent in providing feedback to make the application process and payment system easier and more accessible to renters, community partners and landlords.
Expanded Eviction Protections
As a result of Senate Bill 891, passed in December 2021 by the Oregon State Legislature, tenants who apply for OERAP cannot be evicted while their application is pending. They must show their landlord proof they applied for the protections to begin. Please visit the Oregon Law Center website to find out more information about recent changes, timelines and how to access these protections.
Important Update About Utilities
With the concurrent deployment of Emergency Rental Assistance dollars (ERA 1, ERA 2 and ERA 3), OERAP recently made the difficult decision not to continue covering tenant utility bills. This change will allow the state to stretch the limited emergency rental assistance dollars further to cover more applicants and keep families in their homes. Oregon has ample utility assistance available that renters and homeowners can access to cover their utility bills. Renters can learn more about where to access utilities in their local communities by reaching out to their Community Action Agency, calling 2-1-1, or visiting www.oregonrentalassistance.org/additional-assistance.
Important Clarification around Recertification/Reapplication
The portal will open on Jan. 26 to first-time applicants. OERAP is focused solely on households that have yet to be served by the statewide program. In order to serve the most households, the program will not be offering recertification. Other programs may be available at the local level. For applicants who need additional assistance on top of the assistance they’ve already received, call 2-1-1 or a local Community Action Agency. Applicants cannot request coverage for the same months of coverage.
I applied for my local emergency rental assistance program and already provided this information. Can I still apply for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program?
You cannot receive federal Emergency Rental Assistance for the same months from two different programs. You can apply to other programs to cover other months that you still need assistance for.
I’m homeless. Can I still receive assistance?
Funds from the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program may be able to pay three months of upcoming rent if a homeless individual enters into a new rental lease. A case manager may be able to assist. Please call 211 or visit 211info.org for help.
How do I know if my income qualifies? What sources of income include household income?
In the application, you will include income from all sources for all household members 18 years of age and older that are part of the household. This includes:
- unemployment compensation
- gig economy income
- business income
- self-employment income
- Social Security benefits
- Supplemental Social Security income.
Income eligibility is based on either the household’s total income in 2020, or the monthly income the household is receiving at the time of applying. If you use your monthly income at time of applying, that monthly income will be multiplied by 12 months to determine whether your household’s income exceeds 80% AMI. If your household qualifies based on monthly income, you will need to recertify your income every three months.
Can I apply for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program if I live with roommates?
Yes. Everyone living in the unit is considered part of the household and must apply together unless they are in a clearly documented arrangement to rent part of a home separately. All adults must provide income documentation.
Can I apply if I live in public housing, have Section 8 or a Housing Choice Voucher, or other housing assistance?
Yes. You may apply for rent you are required to pay as long as those costs have not been paid with other assistance and you meet all program eligibility requirements.
If I did not contract COVID-19, can I still apply?
If you have experienced financial hardship and/or housing instability, including inability to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible.
Can I apply regardless of my citizenship or residency state?
Yes. The Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program welcomes all renters that meet the criteria to apply for rent assistance. The application does not require immigration or citizenship status documentation.
What types of rental properties are eligible for assistance?
The following types of residential rental properties are eligible for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program:
- Single-family homes
- Rented manufactured homes
- Rented manufactured home lots (pad rent)
- Hotel and motel stays as the renter’s primary residence
- Other informal lease arrangements, subject to review
- Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
If a renter has been evicted and/or moved from the unit, are they eligible for assistance to pay rent arrears on the former unit with this program?
Yes, it is possible to receive assistance from a former unit. If you are requesting arrears at a former address, please contact the Program Administrator in your region directly for guidance on how to input your application materials. Find out who your local Program Administrator is and what their mailing address is here.
Are short-term hotel or motel stays eligible?
Hotel and motel costs are not covered by OERAP.
What if my form of identification, for example my driver’s license, is expired?
Expired forms of identification are acceptable for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
What are the steps to apply?
See Tips for Success: How to Apply on the Tenant Information page.
What documents do I need to provide?
See the Tenant Checklist on the Tenant Information page.
How will I know the status of my application?
You may log into the application portal to see what stage of the process your application is at any time. The system will email you when your application is processed and moves to the next step or if any additional documentation is required.
My rent is due by the first of the month. Can assistance be provided to my landlord that fast? How long will it take to receive approval and payment?
Due to the anticipated high volume of applications, we cannot guarantee a timeframe for application review and processing. Once an application is determined to be eligible and ready for processing, rental assistance will be provided directly to the landlord or property owner to whom it is due as soon as possible. Applicants who receive notice of an incomplete application must provide all necessary information to move their application forward. Funding will not be reserved for incomplete applications. Please continue to communicate with your landlord while your application is pending.
Do I have to apply online? Is there a paper application available?
All applicants are encouraged to apply online if they can. Applications are available in multiple languages. Community Action Agencies (CAA) continue to serve as a resource for paper application support. Contact the CAA in your community if you would like help completing your application or would like to drop off your application. You can also mail your application directly to your local CAA for them to upload and submit. In the event the portal closes, paper applications will be honored based on their postmark date.
What internet browser do I need to use for the application?
The application works best with Google Chrome. If you do not have the most recent version, you can download it at Google Chrome.
What if I made a mistake on my application after submission?
Go to the Tenant Resources page to contact your local Program Administrator.
What if I don’t have a lease?
If you don’t have a lease, you and your landlord can fill out a Verification of Landlord/Tenant Relationship and Rent Owed form here. If your landlord cannot or will not sign this form, alternatively you can fill out a self-verification form here.
I would like a status update on my tenant’s application.
To get a status update on your tenant’s application, please log into the OERAP Portal. On the dashboard, you will be able to see the status of the application. If you do not have a user profile set up and are unable to login, please provide a requested username (recommended to use the same email the confirmation request was sent to) and OHCS will create your profile. A confirmation email with instructions on how to reset the temporary password will be sent to you.
My tenant said they applied for rent assistance, but nobody has contacted me and now they are not showing in your system.
There are several different agencies processing applications, and this application does not seem to be assigned to PPL. When this occurs, we recommend you contact your local Community Action Agency..
- City of Portland: https://www.portland.gov/phb/rent-relief
- Clackamas County: Contact the Coordinated Housing Access Line at 503-655-8575 or request help online at https://www.clackamas.us/communitydevelopment/cha
- Lane County: https://www.lanecounty.org/cms/one.aspx?pageId=16741613
- Marion County: https://www.co.marion.or.us/BOC/CD/Pages/rentalassistance.aspx
- Multnomah County: https://www.multco.us/rentrelief/apply
- Washington County: https://caowash.org/programs/housing-stability/renter-support.html
- If your tenant lives outside of these major population areas, they may have applied with their local Community Action Agency. You can find contact information at https://caporegon.org
My tenant’s application was denied, are they still protected by the safe harbor period?
Rental assistance providers must provide a dated notice to both tenants and landlords when an application has been denied or closed. The tenant’s safe harbor period ends when their application is denied. Landlords with questions regarding the Landlord Guarantee Program please contact Home Forward. OHCS cannot answer questions on the Landlord Guarantee Program.
Where can I find information on the safe harbor period, or how to evict a tenant, or what to do if my tenant has left with rent unpaid?
For more information and FAQ on the eviction protections, go to the Oregon Law Center webpage: https://oregonlawhelp.org
What do we do if the tenant has left with unpaid rent?
Rental assistance providers must provide a dated notice to both tenants and landlords when an application has been denied or closed. The tenant’s safe harbor period ends when their application is denied. If you have questions about what to do in specific situations, please visit the Oregon Law Center’s website at https://oregonlawhelp.org
What happens if there is suspected waste, fraud or abuse?
Victims of identity theft should be referred to the Oregon Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection website, which addresses identify theft issues.
To prevent further theft, victims must take active steps to contact banks, credit cards companies, and credit reporting agencies.
To report potential fraud, waste, abuse of Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance funds please contact the following agencies:
- U.S. Department of Treasury: https://home.treasury.gov/services/report-fraud-waste-and-abuse
- Oregon Housing & Community Services: Send email to email@example.com
- Office of Inspector General: https://oig.treasury.gov/fraud-alerts
- Reach out to Local Law enforcement by contacting your county Sherriff’s office.
I am a landlord. Why can’t I apply directly? Do I need my tenants to participate?
Per federal rules, tenants are required to provide private information about themselves and the program must protect that data. The tenant must also sign the application to request assistance. Landlords can support tenants by helping gather the materials they need to apply, providing a paper application, and communicating with tenants about their situation. Please review the Landlord Checklist on the Landlord Information page.
Connect with your Program Administrator by visiting the Tenant Resources page.