LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- Community members are speaking out as the eviction moratorium in Oregon comes to an end with the expiration set for June 30.
This means that Oregonians will have until Feb. 28, 2022, to pay back rent accumulated between April 2020 and June 2021. This falls under state law SB 282.
However, once July 1 arrives, renters have to pay current rent on time or they could face eviction. A renter cannot be evicted for rent owed between April 2020 and June 2021 until after the grace period expires next February.
Tim Morris is the executive director of the Springfield Eugene Tenant Association.
“If I can boil it down to one word -- the word I would say is panic and the other word is dread,” Morris said. “A lot of renters that we're connecting with or people that we're touching base with have shared either in the past or even within this month concerns about being able to pay rent, being able to afford back-due rent or being able to afford upcoming rent.”
He said tenants he works with are trying everything they can to pay their rent payments but need more time to do so.
“It is absolutely necessary and critical for tenants to not only know what resources are available but what rights and protections that they have as well -- because that's going to be the first defense if something a little strange happens or something that's a little off the wall happens,” Morris said.
KEZI 9 News also spoke to landlords and property owners.
Selpher Nandwa is currently renting out a property in Lane County.
“It’s been a nightmare sincerely,” Nandwa said. “Just not getting any rent from the renter since I believe October or December of last year. I haven’t received that.”
She said the manager of the property has tried filing for aid but hasn’t been successful.
“I have to juggle between jobs,” Nandwa said. “My husband is trying to work overtime. I have looked for another job so that I can pay my mortgage and my house in Oregon so I don't lose it.”
However, even through all of this and with the eviction moratorium expiring at the end of the month, she said making ends meet is still going to be a struggle.
“Knowing that although it's coming to an end, I'm still not going to get anything until next year February when I can start asking for their money," Nandwa said. "I've used all my savings.”
She said after she sells her house, she will never buy a rental property again.
“I feel for everybody who is genuinely going through a lot,” Nandwa said. “But there are so many people who are taking advantage of this, and it's not fair for the many landlords that have given everything they have to be able to put a roof under the renter's head and put a roof over ourselves.”
She hopes the local and federal governments can do more to bring relief to landlords.
“It’s really affecting our lives, and we need help,” Nandwa said. “We need it urgently. We need them to be able to reach out to the renter than tell them, ‘Please do your part. Do your part to sign those papers so your landlords can get the money to pay their mortgage so that you can continue living in this home.’”
A proposal was outlined Monday, Senate Bill 278, by Oregon lawmakers that would give tenants a 60-day pause from evictions if passed. This is pending in the House Rules Committee, and you would have to show proof of your application.
In Lane County, a new round of rent assistance pre-applications will reopen on Friday, June 25, at 9 a.m and will close on Monday, June 27, at 5 p.m. For criteria and further details, CLICK HERE.
You can also apply for rent assistance through the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP).
Oregon Housing and Community Services encourages landlords to apply for assistance. They share that millions of dollars remain in the Landlord Compensation Fund (LCF). That application closes June 18. This will be the last opportunity to cover all rental debt for all tenants, regardless of income.
Landlords have the chance to receive up to 80 percent of rent owed from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.
Governor Kate Brown announced on Friday that she is extending the state’s mortgage foreclosure moratorium through September.