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Residents have through May 6 to apply. The program started during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Washington County has run out of emergency rental assistance ahead of the expiration of statewide eviction protections this summer. Washington County will stop taking applications for emergency rental assistance Friday, May 6.

The county estimates all $29 million in federal assistance for renters due to the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to be committed by that deadline.

Spokesperson Emily Roots said the county is still actively pursuing other federal avenues to continue the assistance program.

"Washington County will continue to look for other resources for rent assistance. We know that there are opportunities to apply for re-allocated emergency rental assistance dollars from the U.S. Treasury," Roots said in an email. "We will pursue those opportunities when they come up. There is a possibility that Emergency Solutions Grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development may offer re-allocated funds from that program as well. "

Washington County, which has been distributing the funds through Hillsboro-based nonprofit Community Action, was one of a handful of Oregon counties to receive funds directly from the U.S. Treasury, along with Multnomah, Clackamas, Lane and Marion counties.

The county says applications from eligible households who apply by May 6, including current and pending applications, will still be processed.

"For us, the biggest concern is people are really worried about applications still being processed and having a moment of panic over this announcement," said Community Action's director of housing stability, Katherine King Galian. "What they're reading is there is no money left, but there is. We are still processing submitted applications and those received by May 6."

So far, Community Action has paid out $16 million in local emergency rental assistance, providing relief to more than 2,100 renters, an average of $7,619. There is still $13 million to be distributed to pending applications and those received by the deadline, and Galian said she expects Community Action to maintain a similar average while processing the majority of remaining applications by the end of July.

In a news release, Community Action said it has combined federal, state and county funds to distribute $46 million in housing relief over the past two years, which has helped stall over 5,000 evictions, and 70% of the households served had incomes below 30% of the median family income, which is under $29,000 for a family of four.

In addition, Washington County residence have received another $41 million in rent relief funds from the state.

Statewide eviction protections that were also established early on in the pandemic, in 2020, end June 30.

Contact Community Action at 503-615-0770 or by visiting CAOWash.org.


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