Alert: Issue with some checks printed with missing routing number
Are you having problems with cashing your Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP) check? Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) discovered that a batch of checks for payments through the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program had a printing error. The issue with this particular batch of 468 checks is that they were printed with a digit missing from the routing number. We have confirmed that banks are able to cash those checks, and that hundreds from this batch have indeed been cashed or deposited. None of the checks have bounced or will bounce. All checks are valid and can be deposited or cashed. However, we have been notified that some consumers have had issues with cashing or depositing checks at some check cashing businesses rather than banks. OHCS deeply regrets any inconvenience this issue may be causing tenants or landlords. Public Partnerships is contacting all affected tenants and landlords individually with instructions on how to cash the check that they already have or, if they prefer, receive a reissued check. If an individual has been affected by this issue or needs assistance they can call 844-378-2931.
What to Expect as a Landlord
Watch the landlord overview video detailing the steps you take to participate in the program:
Landlord Guarantee Program:
The Landlord Guarantee Program (LGP) reimburses landlords for eligible non-payment costs incurred during the “safe harbor” period required by Senate Bill 278. Do you have a tenant with outstanding rent debt who has applied for rent help, the Landlord Guarantee Program may be able to help. When a tenant gives the landlord documentation from a rent assistance provider that they have applied for rent assistance, the 60 day “safe harbor” begins. Oregon’s Landlord Guarantee Program reimburses landlords for eligible non-payment costs, like rent and late fees, incurred during the “safe harbor” period. Find out additional details by visiting the Home Forward website.
OHCS is removing the requirement to stay evictions for nonpayment of rent for 90 days after the period of assistance. This change is retroactive for all OERAP agreements that have been signed by Landlords and Property Owners.
Any landlords who have previously signed the Landlord/Property Owner Attestation for OERAP do not need to sign another agreement in order to qualify for this waiver. OHCS will not enforce this provision on any prior or future agreement. All other terms and conditions of the OERAP agreements remain unchanged and are still in effect.
After a tenant applies for program funds, landlords will be contacted by email to review and confirm certain information in the tenant’s application (be sure to watch your inbox closely as emails generated by the application portal can sometimes end up in junk/spam folders). You will also be asked to provide your W-9, as well as your direct deposit or ACH payment information and a copy of a canceled check.
In most cases, funds for approved applications will be dispersed directly to the landlord on the tenant’s behalf via direct deposit or check. Due to the anticipated high volume of applications, at this time we cannot guarantee a timeframe for application review and processing. Responding to requests for information in a timely manner and communicating with your tenant will help improve the speed of the application process.
Program funds are not first-come-first-serve. Funds will be distributed based on a formula that prioritizes applications based on need. Everyone who turns in a completed application will have their application reviewed.
Support Your Tenants:
A Checklist for Landlords
You can support your tenants by spreading the word about the program, providing documents to help their application go smoothly, and making sure you have the right documents ready for verification as their application goes through the process.
#1 Spread the Word
Share information with tenants about the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Tell tenants to visit www.OregonRentalAsssistance.org/tenants for more details about eligibility and how to apply.
If you have tenants who do not have easy access to a computer or reliable internet, you can also assist them by downloading and printing a paper version of the application. You can also download our printable documents to distribute here.
#2 Help Eligible Tenants Prepare
If you have tenants who may be eligible for emergency rental assistance, you can help them gather the documents and information they need for a successful application by providing the following:
- Provide your current contact information for the application, including your valid and active email address, phone number, address, and business name (if applicable). If you are a management company with multiple properties, be sure to distribute guidance on what address and contact information property managers should share with tenants to use.
- Send tenants a copy of their current lease and a ledger or rent due statement (it’s helpful to have it broken down by month). If you do not have a lease for your tenant, you can fill out and sign a Landlord Verification of Rent Due form.
- TIP: If you have a scanner, scan and send documents whenever possible so your tenant has the file ready to upload. If your tenant does not have a scanner, you may also assist your tenant by offering to scan other documents they may need for their application.
#3 Prepare to Verify Applications
Watch for emails regarding tenant applications and be prepared to respond in a timely manner. Be sure to also check your spam/junk folder for emails from the application portal.
Get ready for your part of the process by having the following documents ready to go:
- Your W-9
- Your direct deposit or ACH payment information and a copy of a canceled check