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Tenants urged to apply for rental assistance, proof of which they can show to landlords for a 60-day respite.

PMG PHOTO: ZANE SPARLING - A banner decrying recent eviction efforts in Portland was hung near a barricade in North Portland.Oregon tenants are urged to apply for state rental assistance at the same time the federal government has extended for 30 days a national moratorium on residential evictions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday, June 24, it would extend the moratorium from June 30 to July 31. But the agency also said it anticipates this will be the final extension of a moratorium that was imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tenants must complete a CDC form known as an "eviction protection declaration" and give it to their landlords.

Oregon's own moratorium on residential evictions ends June 30. Tenants cannot be evicted on the basis of past-due rent accrued from the pandemic until Feb. 28, 2022. But they must stay current on rent as of July.

However, a recently passed bill (Senate Bill 278) allows tenants a 60-day respite from the threat of eviction if they show proof to landlords they have applied for rental assistance for July or later through the Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services or community action agencies.

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Nearly 11,000 applications for assistance were filed by June 15. Each application represents about 2.5 people. An update on applications was scheduled Thursday night. Between state and federal funds, an estimated $500 million was available for rental assistance to tenants and landlords; some payments have been made.

Charles Boyle, a spokesman for Gov. Kate Brown, said this in a statement:

"It is still critical that qualified Oregonians who have fallen behind on their rent apply for rental assistance as soon as possible … so that they can benefit from the extra layer of protection against eviction for nonpayment that the safe harbor in SB 278 will provide for rent due in July and in later months.

"This will allow more Oregonians to stay in their homes, while they are also protected by the grace period to pay rent accrued prior to June 30.

"We are also asking for continued patience from Oregon's landlords, and we understand that many landlords are facing economic hardships themselves. Connecting tenants with rental assistance instead of evicting them makes it much more likely that landlords will receive the back rent they are owed, and that renters can maintain the safety and stability that housing provides."

The federal moratorium covers both tenants and mortgage holders.

Under separate state legislation (House Bill 2009), an Oregon moratorium on residential foreclosures was reinstated to June 30, and the law empowers Brown to extend the moratorium by executive order in two three-month increments. Brown already has done so through Sept. 30. She will have to announce by Aug. 16, a date set by law, whether she will extend that moratorium through Dec. 31.

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