Following the lead of Portland, Beaverton and other Oregon cities that have stopped landlords from evicting tenants during the public health emergency caused by the novel coronavirus, Gov. Kate Brown said Sunday morning, March 22, that the state will place a 90-day moratorium on residential evictions.
Brown's order takes effect immediately. It applies statewide and serves as a directive to law enforcement officers throughout Oregon.
"Through no fault of their own, many Oregonians have lost jobs, closed businesses, and found themselves without a source of income to pay rent and other housing costs during this coronavirus outbreak," Brown said in a statement. "The last thing we need to do during this crisis is turn out more Oregonians struggling to make ends meet from their homes and onto the streets."
She added, "This is both a moral and a public health imperative. Keeping people in their homes is the right thing for Oregon families, and for preventing the further spread of COVID-19."
The moratorium only covers residential evictions, and only for non-payment of rent and related bills. That means a tenant leasing a storefront from a property management company could still be ordered out for not paying her rent, or a person renting an apartment could still be evicted for violating community rules.
Brown also said she is directing state officials to work on relief for landlords and property managers who may depend on the revenue they get from tenants paying rent. The governor's office said Brown and her economic advisory council are "exploring various state and federal policy options that might be available to provide assistance to borrowers or other options for relief."
Brown has still not issued an executive order compelling people to stay home, as governors and mayors elsewhere in the United States, including California, have done.
Earlier Sunday morning, she took to Twitter to chastise Oregonians for going to the beach and hiking trails Saturday, March 21.
"I am urging all Oregonians to stay home," she reiterated in a Tweet.
Portland-area mayors have urged Brown to make it an order, but Brown indicated Friday night, March 20, that she is not prepared to do so at this time.
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