Washington County working to ensure housing security

Release date: 03/19/2020
Sponsored by: County Administrative Office

Washington County is urgently working to prevent evictions related to the COVID-19 crisis

 

Updated post number 2: Statewide moratorium on evictions extended to non-residential properties

Governor Kate Brown issued an additional executive order on April 1st further extending her original 90-day moratorium on evictions for nonpayment for residential properties to include non-residential properties as well. This expanded pool of properties affected by the eviction moratorium specifically forbids landlords of both residential and non-residential properties in Oregon from terminating any tenant’s rental agreement or taking any action, judicial or otherwise, related to residential evictions. The new executive order does not apply to the termination of residential rental agreements for causes other than nonpayment.

Non-residential tenants must provide their landlord with documentation that the non-payment is because of the COVID 19 pandemic. The documentation must be provided within 30 days of the rent due date. During this moratorium, any residential or non-residential tenant who is or will be unable to pay the full rent when due under a rental agreement or lease, must notify the landlord as soon as reasonably possible and make partial payments as able.

For both residential and non-residential properties, the new 90-day moratorium on evictions for nonpayment would last until July 7.  

 

Updated post: Statewide moratorium on evictions for nonpayment ordered

 

Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order on March 22 forbidding law enforcement officers in Oregon from acting on any notice or order to evict people from residential properties for nonpayment of rent. The executive order, which will be in effect for 90 days, was put into effect at the request of several local and state officials, including the chairs of the elected boards of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties

 

“In taking proactive steps to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, state and local governments need to be mindful of the economic impact these measures have on people throughout our economy,” said Washington County Board Chair Kathryn Harrington. “We are grateful to Governor Brown for issuing this order on behalf of many in our state who would otherwise face possible houselessness just as we need all Oregonians to Stay Home and Save Lives.” 

 

Resources for tenants with questions about their situation include:

  • Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) – Provides assistance with landlord/tenant issues. Contact the Renters’ Rights Hotline at 503-288-0130.
  • Oregon Law Center – Provides legal assistance with a variety of issues including housing. Contact the Hillsboro office at 503-640-4115 or 1-877-296-4076.

 

Original post:

Washington County is working to ensure housing security for all county residents, including those who are concerned with possible evictions as the result of economic distress related to COVID-19. Although current Oregon law does not empower the Board of Commissioners to enact a moratorium on evictions, they have joined with Clackamas and Multnomah County officials to urge Governor Brown to consider a temporary moratorium on evictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. County officials were encouraged that on March 16, Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Walters issued an order to postpone all new eviction proceedings. 

 

In the meantime, all landlords and property managers in Washington County are urged to voluntarily hold off on any evictions while the County continues to seek a solution to this urgent situation. We also ask area hotels and motels to honor housing vouchers to keep vulnerable people in temporary housing. The alternative puts the lives of our neighbors at risk.

 

For all those enrolled in federal housing programs, including public housing, housing choice vouchers and Continuum of Care programs, Washington County Housing Services will ensure that no persons in federal housing programs are at risk of eviction. According to Housing Services Director Komi Kalevor, “If a family loses a job or income due to COVID-19, we will, pursuant to HUD guidelines, recalculate rents due expeditiously.”

With regard to Washington County’s affordable housing portfolio, Housing Services staff are in close contact with property management to track any issues with tenants who are unable to pay rent and ensure their continued access to housing.

 

For more information regarding public housing in Washington County, please go to https://www.co.washington.or.us/Housing/.