Mayor’s Corner: November 2021

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On September 27th the city council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance (1461-21) extending the 60-day tenant eviction protection period in Oregon Senate Bill 278 (2021) to 90 days for Tualatin residents. The ordinance extends eviction protections to 90 days to allow additional time to process requests for rental assistance and provide relief to renters. The goal of extending the eviction protections to 90 days is to provide renters with aid, which will allow landlords to be fully compensated for past-due rent and avoid evictions.

In Washington County Community Action (CAO) assists residents in two ways: helping with paying rent and helping find housing. CAO is the primary contact for emergency rental assistance for Washington County residents. You can reach them at 503.615.0770, Monday through Thursday starting at 9 AM. They will let you know if you are eligible and schedule an appointment to start the application process. Assistance is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Somali, and Arabic.

Between March 2020 and September 30, 2021, 3,851 households and 11,916 individuals were served. $30,396,463.55 in housing debt has been erased, 5,887 households are currently protected under the eviction “safe harbor,” and 82% of nonpayment eviction cases have been dismissed or deferred before first appearance due to CAO’s efforts. To be eligible for emergency rental assistance you must:

  • Be at 80% area median income or below ($61,900 for two-person family or $77,350 for a family of four, for example)
  • Be able to show a Covid impact on your income
  • Have a current lease
  • Owe current or past due rent

CAO gets 35 – 40 applications a day and can process an application in about 65 days. A tenant’s 90 day “safe harbor” period begins when they apply for assistance and they present the verification letter to their landlord. It is important to note that tenants have until their first appearance in eviction court to provide the verification letter to receive the protections. Tenants must attend their first scheduled appearance. CAO has partnered with the Oregon Law Center and Unite Oregon to prevent evictions and to provide tenants assistance during their first court appearance.

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 I wish you a happy Thanksgiving that is full of peace, love, and joy.

Frank Bubenik