Take Action Today! Rent Relief Now!

Updated! Take Action Today!
Call our Congresspeople: Oregonians need relief now

We need your help! This will take about five minutes of your time today, and have a huge impact for our neighbors and our community. We need your help to ask our Congressional delegation to commit rent and mortgage payment assistance. Congress is considering the next Coronavirus relief package this week, so we need your help to call or email TODAY.

Update: On Monday, July 27, the Senate Republicans released their proposed package, which marks the beginning of negotiations. See the NLIHC statement on this package here. Their proposal cut unemployment benefits and included no money for rent assistance and no extension of an eviction moratorium. Oregonians need help now!

Rent Relief Now!

While Oregonians are protected from immediate eviction if they are unable to pay their rent until September 30 in Oregon, the eviction moratorium simply delays the requirement to pay. These bills will still come due once the moratorium is lifted. For people who have lost work or income, being able to pay several months of back rent is unrealistic without direct financial assistance. Oregonians need rent relief to make sure people do not lose their homes because of the pandemic.

With over 461,000 Oregonians and counting having filed for unemployment, rent or mortgage payments are a primary concern for many households. Prior to COVID-19, many Oregonians were just one paycheck away from homelessness, and were already being forced to make tough choices between paying rent and putting food on the table.

Update: The latest Census Pulse Survey data shows that one in five (20%) of Oregon’s renters feel either no or slight confidence that they’ll be able to pay their rent next month.  One in three (33%) are spending down savings or selling things to be able to pay basic bills, and one in five (22%) are using credit cards to pay for basic necessities.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates that Oregon will need $1.2 billion to help people with very low incomes (0-50% of area median income) pay rent to make it through the next twelve months.

We need your help:  Our Senators and Representatives need to hear from you, their constituents, that these are critical issues to include during the special session. It is most important that you contact your Representative and Oregon’s Senators. It will make the most difference to hear from someone who lives in their district.

What are we advocating for?

$100 billion in Rental Assistance

The Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act (S. 3685/HR 6820)  provides $100 billion in emergency rental assistance to help keep the lowest-income renters stably housed during the pandemic. Congress must include $100 billion for rental assistance in the next Coronavirus relief bill. We must help keep people in their homes.

Homelessness Response
The Public Health Emergency Shelter Act (S. 3856/H.R. 6724) would provide $11.5 billion in Emergency Solutions Grants to help provide access to motels and rapid re-housing assistance for people experiencing homelessness. Congress must include this much-needed investment in the next coronavirus relief bill. People experiencing homelessness are at the most risk of impact from Coronavirus.

Housing Stability Funds
Congress should also include $13 billion in the next coronavirus relief package to help stabilize existing rental assistance programs, such as Housing Choice Vouchers, USDA rental assistance, and other supports for people with low incomes who have lost work due to the pandemic. These funds were included in the HEROS Act.

$75 billion in Mortgage Payment Assistance
The $75 billion Housing Assistance Fund (would prevent foreclosures by providing $75 billion nationwide to support homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage during this time. Sponsored by Senator Brown and Senator Reed, this funding would provide key support for homeowners, and help us prevent another foreclosure crisis.

Nationwide Eviction Moratorium
S. 4097/HR 7402 would provide a nationwide eviction moratorium for twelve months to protect people who rent their homes from housing instability during the pandemic.

Read more details from the National Low Income Housing Coalition here.

Contact our Members of Congress today! Here are two easy steps:

First, find out who represents you in Congress! Every Oregonian is represented by Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Jeff Merkley. Find who represents you in the US House of Representatives by looking up your address here: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/OR#representatives.

Second, let’s figure out what you’re going to say. You are going to call or send an email to Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Jeff Merkley, and to your member of the US House of Representatives. You can also call your Congressional Representatives. Contact Senator Wyden by phone at 202-224-5244. Contact Senator Merkley by phone at 202-224-3753. 

Here is a start at a script.

Hi, my name is (your name), and I live in (your town). I believe every Oregonian deserves a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home. During this time, Oregonians need help remaining stable in their homes, or accessing support during this COVID-19 crisis.

If you have a personal story about being a renter or homeowner, and struggling to afford your rent, or being forced to choose between paying rent and putting food on the table, please say a few sentences about that. It’s so important that our lawmakers know what’s happening in our communities.If you are able to work from home or are an essential worker right now, and are able to pay your bills, share that too, and share how important it is that all of us can stay in our homes.

Now, make the ask:

I’m asking you to please support housing stability during this pandemic. Please support to include $100 billion in emergency rent assistsance in the next COVID response package. Please also include mortgage payment assistance, homelessness funding, a nationwide eviction moratorium, and money to stabilize housing programs.

Having a stable home is so important right now.

Thank you for your service to our state.

Need something quicker? You can also send an email through the National Low Income Housing Coalition Action Center! They will help identify your member of Congress, and help with sample text! 

BONUS! Social Media! After you’ve emailed or called, share what we’re asking for on social media, and tag members of our delegation on twitter or facebook! Ask them to support $100 billion in rent assistance now!  Use the hashag #RentReliefNow.

Need help? Want more information? Email Alison.