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Federal aid of $16 million prompts state agency to set March 21; almost 25,000 applications filed since Jan. 26.

The deadline is here to apply for emergency rental assistance, which has benefited more than 46,000 Oregon households, according to state housing officials.

The deadline for applications is 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 21.

This deadline was the third for the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department, which has paid out $302 million so far. It paused new applications on Dec. 1 — officials said a backlog was likely to take up all of the $289 million Oregon received in federal funds — then resumed accepting them on Jan. 26 after the Legislature added $100 million in state funds during a Dec. 13 special session. The state agency also reallocated $13 million from housing stabilization programs.

A second deadline of March 14 was extended to Monday, March 21, after the U.S. Treasury reallocated $16 million that went unspent by other states and communities. More than 25,000 applications have been filed since the state agency reopened the online portal on Jan. 26.

"The impact of this program has been historic," acting director Andrea Bell said in a statement. "A record number of Oregonians across the state in urban and rural communities have received critical funding during these unfathomable times."

Under state law, tenants are shielded from eviction proceedings for nonpayment of rent if they show proof of application to their landlords, and as long as the application is under review. Approvals are based on need, not on a first-come, first-served basis.

Gov. Kate Brown and Oregon's congressional delegation had urged the Treasury for $198 million in addition to the state's original allocation of $289 million, which the housing agency and its partners have now committed or spent. Oregon also has spent $200 million in state funds approved in December 2020.

"Our message to U.S. Treasury remains loud and clear: If other states have money they can't use, send those dollars to Oregon," Jill Smith, interim director of housing stabilization for the state agency, said in a statement.

Oregon is among the top states in its share of emergency rental assistance paid out, according to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. The Treasury is in the process of reallocating emergency rental assistance that other states and communities failed to spend.

The state program is assisted by Public Partnerships LLC and community action agencies throughout Oregon. Five counties and the city of Portland also received federal money for rental assistance.

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NOTE: Clarifies that the deadline for applications to be filed is 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 21. An earlier posted version was meant for the March 23 print edition of the Portland Tribune, which will be distributed after the deadline.


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