A state fund set up to help landlords cover unpaid rent is open for businesses.
On Wednesday last week, the Landlord Compensation Fund received its first 263 applications from seeking an initial $5.5 million out of a total pot of $50 million, according to Kate Gonsalves, spokeswoman for Oregon Housing and Community Services. If approved, those applications could provide relief to 282 tenants behind on rent. Gonsalves did not have a breakdown of how many applications were from Salem.
In response to the pandemic, Gov. Kate Brown issued a moratorium on evictions in March. Since then, landlords complained they had no way to pay their mortgages or get back rent from cash-strapped tenants. Tenant advocates complained that out-of-work tenants would be saddled with back rent they couldn’t pay. In response, the $200 million program was created during a special session in December.
“I’m thrilled that this program is one of only a handful in the nation to offer landlords protection against financial stress in the form of payments for missed rent during the pandemic,” said Julie Cody, Oregon Housing and Community Services’ affordable rental housing director, in a statement. “In doing so, these funds will provide some stability and peace of mind to landlords and their struggling tenants.
Applications will be reviewed after the first round closes on March 2. Applications will be scored based on landlord size and percentage of rent debt. There will be additional rounds until the money is spent.