CALL TO ACTION
To Our Member Housing Providers
Just when housing providers thought they would be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, Oregon lawmakers are looking at additional changes to stabilize housing for those experiencing financial hardship. The current moratorium was set to end on December 31, 2020 but the Legislature is not scheduled to meet until January 19, 2021. So, House Speaker Tina Kotek is looking at having a special session in December, but barring that, the Governor could institute new emergency orders. A new proposal being considered would address the following:
- Extending the moratorium to June 30, 2021, adds language on tenants documenting financial hardship, and gives them until July 1, 2021 to pay back all rent.
- Non-qualifying tenants will only be protected until December 31, 2020 and will have until March 31, 2021 to pay back rent.
- 72-Hour notices for non-payment of rent would be extended to 15-day notices.
- Prohibition on late fees and reporting nonpayment to any consumer credit reporting agency is extended.
- No cause notices are only allowed for owners selling the home to someone who will occupy it, demolishing or converting a unit, undertaking major repairs/renovations, or moving themselves or family into a unit.
- A new addition would be a landlord compensation fund. Landlords could apply directly for rent assistance. The focus will be on smaller housing providers owed large amounts of money and they have to forgive 20% of the amount owed.
The Oregon Rental Housing Association (ORHA), our state organization, is calling us all to action. Let your voice be heard. Contact your state legislators, congressional members, and Tina Kotek, Speaker of the House about how the above changes will affect your ability to provide housing.
What to do:
1) Write an email or letter using the following format:
a. Identify yourself
b. Give your location
c. How many rental units you own or manage
d. Give your personal story.....In describing your story, list how Oregon Legislative decisions have impacted you. They need to identify you as a person with a real-life story. Stick to the facts. Give examples but do not negatively describe tenants or legislators or those in a particular party.
2) Send it to your local state representative. It is more powerful when it comes from a constituent.
3) Send copies to others listed below.
4) Convince two other people to write letters or emails on behalf of housing providers.
5) Send a copy of your letter or email to ORHAoffice@gmail.com.
Find your state representatives:
Representative Tina Kotek - https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/kotek Oregon House Speaker
Representative Julie Fahey - https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/fahey (District 1) on House Committee on Housing
Representative Jack Zika - http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/zika (District 2) on House Committee on Housing
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley - merkley.senate.gov/contact (hit “connect” to get to email)
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden - wyden.senate.gov/contact (hit “contact” to get to email)
Suzanne Bonamici - bonamici.house.gov/contact (District 1)
Greg Walden - walden.house.gov/contact-greg (District 2)
Earl Blumenauer - https://blumenauer.house.gov/ (District 3)
Peter Defazio - defazio.house.gov/contact (District 4)
Kurt Schrader - schrader.house.gov/contact (District 5)
Your help is critical. We appreciate your time in joining us to support Oregon housing providers who give a vital service to our community.
From Violet Wilson, ORHA Education Chair and fellow housing provider