Portland to offer emergency household assistance starting Monday, April 27
Beginning next week, the Portland Housing Bureau will offer $250 emergency assistance to households suffering a loss of income due to COVID-19.
Households can apply beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, April 27, by calling the city's 211 information line or going to www.211info.org/covid19. Applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis.
"This pandemic is hitting everyone hard, so it's reassuring to know that the PHB is helping those most in need during this crisis. Every little bit helps and the City of Portland is working to identify even more resources to ensure economic resilience and recovery," said Mayor Ted Wheeler.
The $200,000 funding comes from the bureau's Emergency Household Stabilization Fund (EHSF). The City Council has reallocated $1 million from the bureau's budget to provide limited direct cash assistance for urgent household needs like groceries, rent, utilities, and medical expenses.
211 staff will also work to connect applicants to additional community resources and assistance, such as discounts for sewer and water charges, crisis vouchers, and the Utility Safety Net program offered by the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau.
To be eligible for EHSF assistance, a household must be experiencing a loss of employment, income, dependent care, or some other hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and earning no more than 50% Area Median Income prior to any loss of employment or income due to COVID-19.
Applicants will need to document the novel coronavirus-related hardship they are experiencing with their application, such as a letter from an employer, clients or customers, a healthcare provider, or school, citing COVID-19 as a reason for reduced hours, termination, loss of business, school closure, loss of childcare, or inability to work, etc.
The remaining $800,000 in the EHSF will be distributed via internal referrals through a network of social service providers serving culturally specific communities, and individuals and families experiencing homelessness and housing instability. A total of approximately 2,000 households are expected to benefit from the funding.
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