Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) announced during a media briefing today that the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP) Portal will close and stop accepting new applications on March 14th.
The portal reopened on Jan. 26th for a limited time after the Oregon State Legislature allocated $100 million to support renters facing eviction.
The state had paused accepting new applications on Dec. 1, 2021, due to dwindling federal funds.
Due to demonstrated ongoing need and feedback from community and housing stakeholders, OHCS has redirected additional resources to help tenants applying for OERAP.
Nearly $13 million in funds have been redirected to more renters applying for assistance. The additional funds will support an estimated 1,900 households. Upon review, applications will be approved for payment or denied, this decision will be made based upon the highest need, not on a first come first served basis.
During the pandemic, the agency provided more than $289 million in rental assistance to more than 40,500 households, which means that an estimated 104,600 people in households served have been able to stay safely and affordably housed during the pandemic.
Only three other states have provided a higher percentage of assistance according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, ranking Oregon 4th in the nation in the percentage of emergency rental assistance funds paid out and obligated.
“The additional resources have allowed OHCS to keep the portal open longer than initially estimated. Oregon renters will have more time. Those who have applied—or will apply for OERAP—will be protected from eviction until their application is processed,” said Jill Smith, interim director of Housing Stabilization at OHCS. “This program was set up as a temporary program to assist the people most impacted by the pandemic and, unfortunately, it will soon be coming to an end.”
Information for renters about portal closure
The OERAP portal will remain open until March 14th, thanks to the additional $13 million.
Here’s some important information for renters:
- If a person has previously submitted an application, or began an application, the portal closure will not impact them immediately. 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 not applied for OERAP in the past and has fallen behind on rent is encouraged to apply for emergency rental assistance before 11:59 p.m. March 14, 2022, at oregonrentalassistance.org.