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COVID-19 Information for Oregon

The purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.

State and Local Affiliates

Please remember to use your state or local apartment association as the primary resource for the most up-to-date information on your responsibilities. Find your local affiliate.

We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws and other policy issues.

Reopening Order

Most Oregon counties are in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plans. Under Phase 2, non-essential businesses resume operation per social distancing and health guidelines. Indoor gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people. 

Face Mask Mandate

Governor Brown announced that Oregon’s face covering requirement will be enlarged to apply to outdoor public spaces along with a prohibition of social gatherings of more than ten people. 

State of Emergency 

Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency on March 8.

Eviction

Status: Eviction Cases & Nonpayment Eviction Enforcement Suspended

HB 4213

  • Action: Implements a moratorium on evictions through September 30, 2020.
  • Scope: Housing providers may not threaten to or act to deliver a termination notice based on nonpayment, file for eviction based on a termination notice for nonpayment, assess a late fee on rent due during the emergency period, or report nonpayment during the emergency period as delinquent to consumer credit reporting agencies. Even after the moratorium expires, housing providers may only evict for unpaid rent in the months that follow.
  • COVID-19 Related Impact Requirement: No.
  • Payment of Deferred Rent: Residents are entitled to a six month repayment period ending on March 31, 2020. Upon receiving a 14 day notice to pay or quit following the moratorium period, residents must notify the housing provider of the desire to pay the balance within the grace period. Resident failure to provide notice in this situation entitles housing providers to recover damages equal to 50 percent of one months rent following the grace period.
  • Additional Commentary: Written notices to residents stating that they continue to owe rent are allowed but it must include a statement that eviction for nonpayment is not allowed before September 30, 2020. Moreover, the law extends lease agreements for residents in the first year of occupancy that would expire during the moratorium period through October 30, 2020.

Executive Order (Expired)

  • Action: Governor Kate Brown signed an executive order on March 22, 2020, declaring a statewide eviction moratorium through June 30, 2020.
  • Scope: Prohibits eviction filings or enforcing writs of possession for nonpayment of rent.  
  • COVID-19 Related Impact Requirement: No.
  • Residents Responsible for Rent: Yes.

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

The Oregon legislative Emergency Board approved more than $247 million in Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund on Friday to support Oregonians and businesses impacted by the pandemic. This includes $75 million to support rental assistance, housing stabilization and mortgage assistance. 

Additionally, Oregon lawmakers previously approved $12 million for rental assistance and safe shelter alternatives for individuals who have lost income due to COVID-19 and shelter for individuals at risk of infection or health problems due to inadequate shelter or housing. 

Rent Freeze

No rent freeze is in effect at the state or local level. Local rent regulation is preempted by ORS 91.225.

Price-Gouging Law

Under Oregon Code, § 401.965, it is unlawful to sell essential consumer goods or services for an unconscionably excessive price during a declaration of emergency. Excessive pricing is determined by whether the price exceeds, by 15 percent, the price of the good or service immediately prior to the declaration. The statutory language spells out essential goods and services as goods or services that may be bought for personal, family or household purposes, not limited to construction material, shelter for payment such as a hotel room, food, water, petroleum and gas products.

Local Legal and Regulatory Information

Hillsboro

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

In partnership with non-profit Community Action, the city of Hillsboro will be establishing a $100,000 rental assistance program that will provide up to $1,200 in rental assistance per family impacted by COVID-19.

Additionally, effective March 23, 2020, the City of Hillsboro established a $1.1 million COVID-19 Response Fund. The fund creates a $500,000 Emergency Business grant that will award $5,000 grants to businesses with 10 employees or fewer; businesses that are a food and drink establishment, education or daycare facility, or businesses that rely on larger gatherings of people; and businesses that are open and operational, or are closed due to forced closure.

The fund also allocates $500,000 to a low-interest loan program in the works that will support small and medium sized businesses whose operations have been curtailed by COVID-19. Details of financing are still undetermined.

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Jackson County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

The Housing Authority of Jackson County will receive $375,002 in federal COVID-19 aid to help keep people housed and safe during the pandemic. The money is part of $5.7 million in grants going out to housing authorities across Oregon, and $1.25 billion being provided nationwide for rent assistance programs through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress.

Additionally, the United Way of Jackson County is providing more immediate emergency help for people struggling to pay rent and other bills — including the newly unemployed who haven’t been participants in voucher or subsidized housing programs.

The social services organization has received $330,704 in donations to its COVID-19 Fund and has distributed $210,871 so far to help families and individuals.

To donate or apply for help, see the United Way of Jackson County.

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Lane County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Lane County’s Human Services Division is currently dispersing $930,000 in rental assistance. The funding will be focused on stabilizing housing for people who are at risk of becoming unhoused, as well as finding housing solutions for people who are currently unhoused.

Rental assistance will be available to households that were making up to 50% of the county’s median income before COVID-19 and have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19-related factors. In Lane County, that means an annual income of $32,500 or less for a family of four.

The funding was provided by the State of Oregon’s COVID-19 Rent Relief Program. Funding will be paid directly to landlords on behalf of tenants.

Residents can email inquiries to [email protected].

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Milton-Freewater

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

The City of Milton-Freewater received a $10,000 grant for emergency response to COVID-19.

The Milton-Freewater Ministerial Association is distributing the funding through utility bills and rental assistance for those affected by the pandemic.

The program, the Residential Utility Assistance Program, has been around for decades, but has been expanded with the additional funding. Households in Milton-Freewater can receive up to $250 for their utility bills, according to a release.

Call 541-701-1925 or 509-540-7824 to apply. For rent assistance, visit to the Milton-Freewater City website.

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Portland (Multnomah County)

Eviction

County Moratorium

On March 17, 2020, Multnomah County Board of Supervisors enacted an eviction moratorium. Housing providers will not be able to evict residents who have fallen behind on rental payments as a result of loss of income due to COVID-19. Renters in both jurisdictions (Portland and Multnomah County) will have six months to pay back the payments they have fallen behind on once the crisis is over, similar to San Francisco’s moratorium. This order was extended on July 2, 2020 through September 30, 2020. 

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

The Portland City Council unanimously approved to dedicate more than $8 million to support renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The budget reallocates $4.5 million to existing federal funds for rent assistance, plus an additional $3.85 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) revenue allocated to the city through the CARES act.

According to the city officials, the funds are expected to provide at least three months of emergency rent assistance to about 2,000 households.

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Union County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Community Connection of Northeast Oregon Inc. received from the state $162,250 to provide assistance to those who have been unable to pay rent due to a loss in income or job loss.

This loss in income can include those who still work but had to cut back on hours due to the need to stay home for reasons including someone in the household being sick, or lack of childcare and needing to stay home and watch children.

The only other requirement for funding assistance is the person or family requesting must be under the income limit for their county. For Union, Baker and Grant Counties that means an individual must make less than $21,500 to qualify, more if there are multiple members of a household. Wallowa County income limit for an individual is $22,300.

For more information, visit Community Connection’s website.

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