By: Jason Miller, ORHA Legislative Director
December 14th, 2021
Yesterday, December 13th, 2021, Legislature passed in the 2nd special session an extension to the moratorium on evictions for non-payment for tenants who have applied for emergency rental assistance. The housing policy bill, known as Senate Bill 891, was the reason the Governor called the special session.
In this bill, tenants that apply for rental assistance and provide documentation to their landlord before June 30th, 2022, will have a safe harbor from eviction until September 30th, 2022, or until their application is cancelled or denied. Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) will prioritize those that applied before December 1st, 2021, and cancel applications of tenants that are not responding to their requests. OHCS is required to notify the landlord if a tenant is denied, or an application is cancelled.
Additionally, in this bill is the extension of the requirement for a 10-day or 14-day Notice to Pay or Vacate for Non-payment of Rent until Sept 30th, 2022. Landlords must send an updated version of the tenant protection letter with these non-payment notices served after the date that SB 891 is signed into law by the Governor. The updated tenant protection letter will be available on the Oregon Rental Housing Forms Store at https://store.oregonrentalhousing.com/
In another bill, Senate Bill 5561 is the budget companion bill to SB 891 which allocates $100 million to OHCS for rental assistance. $5 million was allocated to administrative costs to speed up the processing of rental assistance applications, and $10 million was added to the Landlord Guarantee Fund for landlords to recover lost funds due to canceled, denied or unprocessed rental assistance applications. Another $100 million was allocated for longer term rental assistance programs to be distributed through other local agencies.
You can read the full bill here for SB 891: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021S2/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB891/Enrolled
You can read the full bill here for SB 5561: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021S2/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB5561/Enrolled