Gov. Kate Brown took her latest extraordinary step in the fight against the coronavirus Sunday, issuing an executive order that places a statewide, temporary moratorium on residential evictions for nonpayment. The order is effective for 90 days.
“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,” Gov. Brown said. “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.
“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.”
Under the Governor’s emergency powers, the order places a temporary hold throughout Oregon on law enforcement actions relating to residential evictions for not paying rent.
Recognizing that landlords and property owners face their own costs if tenants are not able to pay rent, the Governor and her Coronavirus Economic Advisory Council are engaging lenders to find potential solutions and are exploring various state and federal policy options that might be available to provide assistance to borrowers or other options for relief.
Oregon Housing and Community Services and the Department of Consumer and Business Services are also pursuing relief options at the direction of the governor.
This latest order is part of the governor’s coronavirus housing and homelessness strategy, which includes expanding shelter capacity with social distancing measures in place, identifying emergency COVID-19 shelter options for people experiencing homelessness who must be isolated or quarantined, exploring options for rent assistance, seeking expansion of federal eviction moratoriums, and homeowner foreclosure avoidance.
Clackamas County commissioners had earlier this week voted unanimously to support their own, countywide moratorium on evictions, though theirs also applied to commercial properties and business renters.
“This is a tough time,” said Clackamas County Chair Jim Bernard. “Businesses are being challenged, and renters are being challenged because they can’t go to work. We ask that business owners and property owners not evict people.”
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