Thursday, April 23, 2020

Oregon Legislative Emergency Board Approves $8.5 Million in Rental Assistance

The Oregon Legislative Emergency Board met last Thursday to vote on over $30 million for coronavirus response efforts. The board unanimously approved $12 million for rental assistance for people experiencing a loss of income and hotel vouchers for homeless residents. Of this, $3.5 million will go toward hotel vouchers for homeless residents and farm workers in need of quarantine, while $8.5 million will go to landlords on behalf of tenants who are unable to pay rent. The $8.5 million will be distributed to local jurisdictions based on a preset formula that takes into account both total population and level of need. Renters who make less than 50% of area median income will qualify for these subsidies. House Republican Leader Christine Drazan asked whether this threshold will take into account lost wages since the crisis, or whether only those who made 50% AMI prior to business closures will be eligible. A legislative staff member indicated that will be determined in contract negotiations with continuums of care. 

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