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State to pause accepting new applications for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (Photo) - 12/01/21

Dec. 1, 2021 

 

Media Contact: Delia Hernández 

503-986-2051 

equests@oregon.gov">HCS.mediarequests@oregon.gov 

 

State to pause accepting new applications for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program

More than $157 million in federal emergency rental assistance paid to over 23,000 households

 

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) and Local Program Administrators (LPAs) continue to make strong progress on processing applications for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP). 

 

As of today, OHCS and LPAs have paid $157.5 million in federal emergency rental assistance to 23,155 applicants, up from $149.8 million and 22,128 applicants last week. The agency is ranked 8th in the nation in the percentage of funds paid and obligated. 

 

Media briefing on new application pause for OERAP

 

During today’s media briefing, OHCS announced that the pause in accepting new applications for OERAP starts today, Dec. 1, at 11:59 p.m. Based on the amount of funding that has been requested through the applications that have been paid and are currently in the queue, the state estimates nearly all the $289 million in federal emergency rental assistance we’ve received so far has been requested by renters.  

 

“As we look to the December holidays, our top priority continues to keep families safely and affordably housed. We know Oregonians who’ve fallen behind on rent are stressed and scared,” said OHCS Director Margaret Salazar. “The governor’s call for a housing special session to keep families housed during this difficult time is the right call and we are confident the Legislature will come to consensus on additional measures to protect renters. Oregon renters need more time, and the program needs more funding.”  

 

There is rental assistance available in many localities – through programs that are operating independently from OERAP. Some cities and counties received emergency rental assistance funding directly from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and these programs should have funds available. They include: 

 

 

People can also contact 211 or Community Action Agencies in their area. 

 

If a person has previously submitted an application or began an application, the pause will not impact them. Those who started their applications will still be able to complete them, and those applications that were previously submitted will still be processed. Applicants can continue to log on to the OERAP portal to complete their application or check the status of their finished application. They will be alerted by email as their application advances. 

 

Anyone who has fallen behind on rent or may get behind on December rent is encouraged to apply for emergency rental assistance before 11:59 p.m. Dec. 1 at oregonrentalassistance.org.

 

Progress and updated numbers  

 

Through its three-point plan, OHCS and its processing partner, Public Partnerships LLC (PPL), have made significant strides to drive rapid application processing in the past several weeks. Currently, 150 PPL staff are processing applications with a focus on applications outside the 60-/90-day safe harbor period. In the past week, PPL processed close to 547 applications, exceeding their 500-application target.

 

To date, OHCS and LPAs have: 

  • Paid $157,576,939 to landlords and tenants to help 23,155 Oregon households.
  • Processed and obligated an additional $27.4 million in funds for 3,265 households.
  • Received more than 55,736 completed applications.

 

Visit the OERAP dashboard for more data.  

 

Applications in review process  

 

About 20,987 applications are in the review process. The 60-/90-day window of protection begins when a tenant shows proof they applied for the program. However, this data is not currently available. As proxy, OHCS is tracking when a tenant completes an OERAP application and the number of applicants who have not been paid outside of the 60-day window (90 days in Multnomah County and unincorporated areas of Washington County). Applications outside the 60-/90-day window are being moved from the LPA in their county to PPL. 

 

The graph below shows an estimate of the geographic areas with the most applications outside the 60- and 90-day windows of protection as of Dec. 1. This graph does not include applications outside the 60-/90-day window from counties that received ERA funding directly from the U.S. Treasury.

 

[See attached file]

 

Below is a graphic that shows average application processing times for each county for the OERAP program as of this week. 

 

 [See attached file]

 

 

 

*Multnomah County is not included in this as a comparison because they have a 90-day window. Their average processing time is 75 days. On average, PPL processed applications within an estimated 57 days from when they received the application. Improvements are underway to track PPL processing times that take into account they are taking old applications.

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