By: Jason L. Miller - ORHA Legislative Director
All of Oregon is hurting from the devastation caused by COVID19 and wildfires. People have lost their employment and/or their income has been reduced significantly. Many small businesses have been forced to close. Housing providers are experiencing complete or partial loss of income due to resident’s inability or refusal to pay rent, yet housing providers hit by rent moratoriums have been required to pay for mortgages, expenses, maintenance and property taxes. This has caused some housing providers to sell their properties which reduces the inventory of rental homes available to those who lost their homes in wildfires or were forced to relocate due to COVID-19.
We feel it is necessary to continue efforts to keep residents truly affected by these disasters in their homes through housing provider and resident based assistance programs. We do not support a blanket extension of the rent moratorium for all tenants, that only pushes the debt farther out while past due balances grow. LC-18 has been presented as a solution, however there are some concerns.
Legislation should include a mechanism to prevent fraud and encourage communication between residents and housing providers. It should allow housing providers to evict without delay those who are not in financial need yet refusing to pay rent. It should not allow residents to provide declarations of need at the last minute, but rather by the first court appearance or sooner. We ask for no extension of the 72 or 144 hr notice period when tenants are past due and not in need. It is essential that we provide adequate funding for a landlord based rental assistance program making all housing providers 100% whole on past due rents.
Housing providers provide an essential service to Oregon residents and letting them fail would be a disaster. Legislators need to provide rental assistance to all those in need instead of putting it all on the shoulders of housing providers.
You can find a copy of LC-18 here.
Let your legislators know how you feel about LC-18 and it’s impact on Housing Providers.