May 10, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: Oregon to Receive More than $220 Million in Additional Emergency Rental Assistance

Funds will help prevent evictions and ensure basic security for Oregonians struggling to afford housing during the global pandemic

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon will receive about $222.5 million in federal resources from the American Rescue Plan for emergency rental assistance.

“Housing is a human right, and building back better from the economic impact of this health crisis demands addressing the year of past due rent piling up on thousands of Oregonians struggling to make ends meet,” Wyden said. “With nearly 7 million Americans reportedly behind on rent, this funding makes a critical investment in getting Oregon and the rest of the country back on track.”

“The coronavirus pandemic has made a host of existing issues, including Oregon’s affordable housing crisis, even more challenging than before,” said Merkley. “We won’t be able to recover from this pandemic without addressing the urgent need to ensure that every Oregonian—regardless of what they look like, where they work, or their zip code—has access to a safe, affordable roof over their head, and this emergency rental assistance funding will help us achieve that goal. I will continue to do all that I can to help renters get the relief they need to weather this storm, and to support the maintenance and construction of new affordable housing units, so we can finally overcome the deepening housing crisis.”

Wyden and Merkley both voted for the American Rescue Plan Act, which among its provisions allocated emergency rental assistance to support basic housing stability and prevent evictions. The $222.5 million in emergency rental assistance for Oregon from the U.S. Treasury Department also includes more than 23 million targeted to the highest-need areas, where job loss and high market costs have made it especially difficult for low-income renters.

This infusion of additional support will benefit both renters and landlords and make sure states and localities that have moved quickly to address housing affordability challenges wrought by the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts in their areas will continue to have the resources they need to serve their communities.

The policy also includes enhanced policies to directly aid renters, prevent evictions and help Americans transition to secure housing.

The emergency rental assistance allocations for Oregon are as follows:

•       State of Oregon: $156.45 million

•       Clackamas County: $9.9 million

•       Jackson County: $5.24 million

•       Lane County: $9.07 million, including $4.44 million for high-need areas

•       Marion County: $8.25 million

•       Multnomah County: $3.81 million,  including $2.36 million for high-need areas

•       City of Portland city $15.54 million, including $9.63 million for high-need areas

•       Washington County $14.24 million, including $5.34 million for high-need areas