Eviction moratorium extension still in limbo as lawmakers discuss new bill

The legislative concept would help both renters and landlords

Posted: Dec 9, 2020 5:59 AM

EUGENE, Ore.-- With the eviction moratorium set to expire in less than a month, state lawmakers are still trying to hammer out a deal that could trigger the governor to call a special session.

State Senator James Manning said the proposed legislative concept would help both tenants and landlords. Though it's originating in the house, Manning said he supports the initiative to help the two parties.

"It's a lot of moving pieces and there's no silver bullet that will solve it all," Manning said. "We got to use the best approach we can in order to help Oregonians."

Manning said the legislative concept would cover up to 80% of lost income for landlords from rent payments and also extending the eviction moratorium through June of next year. But with the state budget running thin, the federal government may have to provide some monetary relief.

"Hopefully with this new congress coming in, we're able to get some federal funds to help make everybody feel as whole as possible," Manning said.

There are two ways the eviction moratorium could be extended, according to Manning. The first is the state legislature can pass a bill to extend it, but the governor has to call a special session for that to happen. Governor Kate Brown has indicated that she would call a third special session. This is what her spokesman, Charles Boyle, said last month when House Speaker Tina Kotek announced her request for a special session:

"The governor remains open to holding another special session if legislators can agree to a succinct list of policies that address Oregonians’ most pressing needs, including the impending expiration of the evictions moratorium, while also preserving state resources to maintain vital public services and address the devastation caused by our catastrophic wildfire season," Boyle said in a statement.

The second option is the governor could extend her executive order on the eviction moratorium ban until the state legislature begins their regular session on Jan. 19, 2021.

In the meantime, Manning said he and his office are working to make sure renters and landlords are helped through the pandemic.

"Imagine having a young family out in the cold" Manning said. "That's not humane, that's not who we are, we can't have that. I will do everything in my power that the moratorium is extended."

KEZI did reach out to Representative Julie Fahey, the author of the legislative concept, but she was unable to be interviewed before the story aired.

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