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Important Update: Safe Harbor Eviction Protection Period Extended
- Oregon Legislators recently held a special session to extend eviction protections known as “Safe Harbor” protections in Oregon (SB 278). As a result of recent legislation, tenants have protection from eviction upon showing their documentation of rental assistance application to their landlord. These protections replace the 60-day period (90 days in some jurisdictions) and now cover the entire time an application is being processed (up until September 30, 2022.)
- In order to be protected, tenants must give proof of application to their landlord right away (by June 30, 2022 at the latest, or at or before any first court appearance, whichever is sooner.)
- Anyone who has already applied for assistance and shown documentation of their application to their landlord at or before any first court appearance is now protected from nonpayment eviction until their application is processed.
- Landlords are required to give 10 days of notice of termination of tenancy for nonpayment until September 30, 2022.
- Landlords may begin eviction proceedings if you’ve missed rent and haven’t begun an application – apply to an open rental assistance program right away to access these protections!
- If your application is closed or denied or paid in an amount that is less than is owed, your landlord can move forward with the eviction process for unpaid months.
- If you have questions about eviction protections, please visit the Oregon Law Center’s website for updates at www.oregonlawhelp.org.
Are you eligible for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program?
If you are behind on your rent, you may be eligible for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program if you meet ALL of the following criteria:
#1: You are a renter in Oregon behind on your payments.
Your household may be eligible if your primary residence is in Oregon, and you have an arrangement renting your residence from the property owner. Eligible properties include apartments, single-family homes, rented manufactured homes, rented manufactured home lots, hotel and motel stays (if this is your primary residence), and other informal lease agreements, subject to review. You may also be eligible if you live in public housing, have Section 8 or a Housing Choice Voucher, or other housing assistance so long as the outstanding payments have not been paid through other assistance.
#2: One or more members of your household can demonstrate how the COVID-19 pandemic has directly or indirectly impacted their ability to pay rent.
This may include if one or more members of your household has qualified for unemployment, experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or otherwise experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Household members” includes everyone living in the unit at the time of application, including family members and roommates. All qualified renters may apply regardless of their citizenship or residency status – the application does NOT require providing immigration or citizenship documentation.
#3: Your annual household income is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income for your household size.
Your annual household income includes all income sources for all household members 18 years of age and older. This includes wages, unemployment compensation, gig economy income, tips, business income, self-employment income, retirement, pensions, Social Security benefits, and 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 application (multiplied by 12 months). View the Area Median Household Income chart below to check your eligibility.
Area Median Household Income Chart
Before You Apply: A Checklist for Tenants
If you answered “yes” to ALL the questions above, you may be eligible to apply for assistance! Before you get started, make sure you have all the right documents available. Documents should be scanned and saved to your computer, or you can use clear, legible photos.
#1 Verify Your Identity
You will need to provide ONE of the following documents to confirm your identity:
- State issued program ID or license
- Passport/Birth Certificate/Social Security Card/Jail ID
- An employment identification card
- Certificate of marriage or license
- Copy of a certified divorce decree
- Copy of a certified, court-ordered maintenance award (if legal) or a notarized statement declaring separation
- Single or Joint bank accounts, certified purchases or loans that show residential address
- Credit report showing residence and single or joint financial activity
- Military ID/VA Medical card/Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD214)
- ODHS Benefits ledger/Social service ID
- Letter from a non-profit or government agency attesting to applicant’s identification
#2 Verify Your Income
All household members over the age of 18 must provide ONE of the following:
- IRS Tax forms such as a 2020 1099, 1040/1040A or Schedule C of 1040 showing amount earned and employment period or most recent federal income tax statements
- A 2020 W-2 form, if you have had the same employer for at least two years and increases can be accurately projected
- Most recent paycheck stubs (consecutive: six for weekly pay, three for bi-weekly or semi-monthly pay, two for monthly pay)
- A letter of termination from your job
- Employer-generated salary report or letter stating current annual income or Earnings statements
- Current bank statements
- Proof of application for unemployment benefits
- Proof that unemployment benefits have expired
- Self Employed – tax records, statements, or other documentation of loss of employment
- IF YOU HAVE NO INCOME: You can complete a Certification of No Income in the application
#3 Verify Your Residence
Provide ONE of the following documents to verify your residence:
- State issued program ID or license
- A signed lease or written rental agreement
- Credit report showing residence and single or joint financial activity
- Official letter from third party (Landlord, Government agency, financial institution, medical institution, or school)
#4 Verify Your Rent
Provide documents that show your unpaid rent, including:
- A current lease signed by the applicant and landlord or sub-lessor that identifies the unit where the applicant resides and shows the rental payment amount
- If you don’t have a signed lease, proof of your rent amount may include one of the following:
- Bank statement, check stub or other proof that shows a pattern of paying rent
- Written confirmation by a landlord who can be verified as the actual owner or management agent of where you rent
- Landlord Verification of Rent Due
- If landlord refuses to sign you may also submit a Self-Verification of Rent Due
- Other formal attempt to collect rents or notification of rents due/outstanding
How to Apply: Tips for a Successful Application
Step 1: Gather Your Documents
Review the Tenant Checklist above to make sure you have all of your documents ready to go – scanned copies or clear, legible photos should be uploaded to your computer. Be sure to also have any extra documentation that may be useful to explain your situation as needed.
- Tip: If you have any outstanding questions about eligibility before you start your application, be sure to see the Frequently Asked Questions.
Step 2: Apply Online
Use the link below to complete a pre-screening before you apply. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be prompted to begin the application by filling in your name, email address and/or phone number, and password.
Note: All applicants are encouraged to apply online if they can. If that is not possible, you may download and print a paper application here. If you print your application, you will need to mail it to your local Program Administrator. Find out who your local Program Administrator is and what their mailing address is here.
- Tip: Double check that you’ve entered your email information correctly, and save your password in a safe place!
If you need help, please watch our tenant walk-through video for a step-by-step explanation of the application:
We estimate the application will take between 20-30 minutes to complete, if your documents are prepared in advance. You do not need to complete the application in one sitting. You can save your application, logout, and come back to it later.
- Tip: Before submitting your application, be sure to upload all the appropriate documents and sign your application to ensure a successful process.
Step 3: Watch for Updates
After submitting your application, your documents will be reviewed and your landlord will be contacted. You will receive email updates when your application is processed and moves to the next step, or if any additional information or documentation is required. You can respond to requests for more information or check the status of your application at any time through the application portal (you will need your username and password to log in).
- Tip: Watch your email (including spam folder!) for updates on your application so you can respond in a timely manner. To avoid scammers, always check the email address to ensure it is from a reputable source. The best way to ensure accurate information about your application is to log into the application portal. Read more about how to avoid scammers here.
Incomplete applications are one of the biggest reasons for slow processing. 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.
- Tip: If anything changes with the information or documentation you submitted, connect with your local program administrator.
Please note: Due to the anticipated high volume of applications, at this time we cannot guarantee a timeframe for application review and processing. Program administrators are working as fast as they can to process applications, and your patience during this time is appreciated. Verifying documentation takes time, especially if there are inconsistencies or outstanding documents that are necessary for a complete application. Responding promptly to requests for more documentation or information will help improve the speed of your application process.
As outlined by guidance from the US Treasury, the most vulnerable households will be prioritized first. (See Prioritization Information to learn more.) Not all who apply will receive assistance. Some applications may have long wait times depending on region, income limit and other qualifying factors. Applicants are encouraged to monitor their application status by logging into the application portal and continue exploring local level resources while they wait.
Step 4: Approval
If your application is approved, in most cases, payments will be made directly to the landlord or property owner on the tenant’s behalf via direct deposit or check. If they do not approve the payment on your behalf, then the program administrator will take steps to pay you directly. (Please note, Landlord participation is often required to receive full rental payment coverage—direct payments to tenants are limited. Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.)
You will receive confirmation from your program administrator when your rent bills are paid/forgiven/brought current. Please keep a copy for your records. This repayment prevents COVID-era rental and credit records from being used against you if/when you apply to rent in the future.