In April, the Oregon Legislative Assembly’s joint Emergency Board approved $8.5 million for rental assistance for households impacted by COVID-19. These funds are now being distributed throughout the state through Oregon’s 18 regional community action agencies. CARE is a part of the three-county partnership, that includes Columbia and Clatsop counties, which received a total of $299,610 of that $8.5 million. CARE will be administering these funds locally.
According to Oregon Housing and Community Services, state funds were allocated using a needs-based formula that factors in rent burden, poverty, homelessness and unemployment claims. The result is that an additional $75,000 in rental assistance funds are coming to Tillamook County.
The application requirements for this program restrict their use to only those households – individuals or families – earning up to 50% of the area median income. According to the US Census Bureau, the median household income for Tillamook County in 2018 was $47,500. That means that anyone earning up to $23,750 may be eligible for assistance. This can be a complicated process, so if you think you may be eligible or have questions about the eligibility requirements and if you might qualify, call the CARE offices at 503-842-5261. Applicants should be advised that proof of income loss and other documents will be required to access these funds.
Approved applications for rental assistance will see the funds dispersed directly from the agency to the landlord. The program is designed to both assist with back payments from April and May as well as future payments. For renters who are struggling to pay the rent, communication with your landlord is still key. Renters need to be advised that Executive Order 20-11 which placed a moratorium on evictions does not absolve the renter of their responsibility to pay rent. Once the moratorium expires on June 20, failure to pay back rent may result in eviction. CARE is here to help Tillamook County residents struggling to pay their rent during the COVID-19 crisis, but it is highly encouraged that all renters communicate effectively with their landlords during this time.
If you or someone you know have been laid off or lost wages during to the COVID-19 crisis, CARE is here to help. Thanks to the generosity of our community and statewide foundations, CARE has additional resources to help those in need, both now in this time of crisis and during our recovery thereafter. Even if you are not eligible for the funds released by the Emergency Board, CARE’s case managers are available to help low- to middle-income Tillamook County residents know their options, access resources and guide them through these challenging times. To apply for this program or to learn more about CARE’s other resources, please contact the CARE offices at 503-842-5261, or go online to the CARE website for an application at https://www.careinc.org/emergency-services.