Oregon Governor Kate Brown has called a special session of the Oregon Legislature for Monday, Dec. 21, and included in her budget priorities is aid for tenants and landlords, according to a release.
The governor is asking the legislature to consider both critical policies and $800 million in relief to support Oregonians during a one-day special session on COVID-19 and wildfires. It was unclear on whether the legislature will consider an extension of eviction and foreclosure moratoriums set to expire on Dec. 31.
“Oregonians are making tremendous sacrifices to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Brown said in the release. “While the risk-reduction measures we have put in place are working to slow the spread, many Oregon families are struggling with unemployment, housing, food insecurity, and paying their bills — and those most impacted are the same people who are often left behind, including rural, black, Indigenous, Latino/Latina/Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Tribal communities,” she said.
States must act on their own
“I continue to call on Congress to pass another robust coronavirus-relief bill to bring support to the American people. But these calls have not yet been heeded. It is clear that states must act on their own to provide a bridge until federal help arrives. This is why I am calling on legislators from both sides of the aisle to come together in the best interests of the state,” Brown said.
“We must protect Oregonians now, as we face some of our hardest days, whether by getting critical resources into the hands of those most in need, keeping a roof over people’s heads, or recognizing the incredible toll of this virus on our small businesses and restaurants. Oregon must act to bridge the gap as we continue to wait to see federal relief. I thank legislators for their work in addressing these critical issues next week, and I look forward to our progress.”
Included in the governor’s budget priorities in addition to aid for tenants and landlords, is funding for vaccine distribution and contact tracing, wildfire prevention and community preparedness, and support for reopening schools.
Included in the governor’s proposal is $150 million in aid for landlords, $50 million for tenants and $600 million put into the Emergency Board committee’s account, with $100 million dedicated to wildfire response and $400 million for the coronavirus, according to reports.
“We hope that lawmakers are planning to take action to extend the eviction moratorium and create a landlord compensation fund to ensure that COVID doesn’t bring a lifelong economic setback for Oregon working families,” Alison McIntosh of the Oregon Housing Alliance said told the Statesman-Journal.