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Executive order is allowed under Legislature's special session bill that set Sept. 30 deadline.

Gov. Kate Brown has extended to Dec. 31 a temporary halt to homeowner and business foreclosures in Oregon.

The current moratorium was extended to Sept. 30 by the first 2020 special session of the Oregon Legislature, which met June 24-26. The legislation (House Bill 4204) gave Brown the option to extend it to Dec. 31, but only if she announced it by Sept. 1.

Brown announced her decision Monday, Aug. 31, through an executive order.

Her statement:

"Every Oregonian deserves a warm, dry, safe, affordable, and accessible place to call home. That's especially true during a pandemic, when physical distancing and limiting trips away from home are critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19.

"Extending the moratorium on foreclosures will ensure that more Oregonians do not lose their homes this year, and that businesses can continue to provide vital goods and services to our communities."

Brown acknowledged that a moratorium was not a long-term solution. She said she would work with interested groups to come up with a viable plan.

This matter is separate from a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions under a separate bill that also is due to end Sept. 30. Unlike the foreclosure moratorium, the Legislature did not provide for the governor to extend an evictions ban, although no one can be evicted for nonpayment of rent until after Dec. 31.

"As this crisis continues, I am confident that lawmakers will again take action to help Oregonians struggling to pay rent and mortgage payments," Brown said.

The Legislature's Emergency Board allocated $55 million for rent assistance through December, and $20 million for affordable housing operating support for partners of the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department. In April, the Emergency Board also allocated $12 million in emergency funding for safe shelter and rental assistance. Congress has also passed about $82 million in housing supports and other housing-related services for Oregonians, including funds for rental and utility assistance.

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