On December 13th, 2021, Oregon Legislature passed in the Second special session an extension to the moratorium on evictions for nonpayment for tenants who have applied for emergency rental assistance. The housing policy bill, known as Senate Bill 891, was the reason the Governor called the special session.
In this bill, tenants that apply for rental assistance and provide documentation to their landlord before June 30th, 2022, will have a safe harbor from eviction until September 30th, 2022, or until their application is canceled or denied. Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) will prioritize those that applied before December 1st, 2021, and cancel applications of tenants that are not responding to their requests. OHCS is required to notify the landlord if a tenant is denied, or an application is canceled.
Additionally, in this bill is the extension of the requirement for a 10-Day or 13-Day Notice to Pay or Vacate for Nonpayment of Rent until Sept 30th, 2022. Landlords must send an updated version of the tenant protection letter with these nonpayment notices served after the date that SB 891 is signed into law by the Governor.
In another bill, Senate Bill 5561 is the budget companion bill to SB 891 which allocates $100 million to OHCS for rental assistance. $5 million was allocated to administrative costs to speed up the processing of rental assistance applications, and $10 million was added to the Landlord Guarantee Fund for landlords to recover lost funds due to canceled, denied or unprocessed rental assistance applications. Another $100 million was allocated for longer term rental assistance programs to be distributed through other local agencies.