COVID-19 Rent Assistance and Housing Stability Resources

Updated Sept. 29, 2020

Are you a Multnomah County resident unable to pay rent because of COVID-19?

Have you experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19?

Has someone in your household been ill with COVID-19?

Does someone in your household have increased health risks or needs due to COVID-19?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be eligible for the COVID-19 CARES Rent Relief Program (CVRRP). Income restrictions apply. Funds from this program can help with your housing costs, including any current or past-due rent.

You are also covered by Oregon’s temporary ban on evictions for non-payment of rent. Learn more about that moratorium and a grace period for repaying outstanding back rent by clicking multco.us/covid-eviction

You can watch a video to learn more by clicking here.

Here are some frequently asked questions and links to learn more about the program and how you can apply.

Will my citizenship status affect my ability to apply?

No. Your citizenship status will not prevent you from applying.

How else will I know if I am eligible? 

To qualify, you need to earn no more than 80% of the region’s median income for a household of your size. Only your current income will be considered. Additional unemployment income issued during the COVID-19 doesn’t count against your eligibility.

Does eligibility guarantee assistance?

No, meeting eligibility requirements will not guarantee access to assistance. COVID-19 will negatively affect many more households than the resources available for this program will be able to assist. We strongly encourage all households facing potential eviction to continue exploring all potential options. We will continue to encourage our partners, particularly in the federal government, to provide additional funding so we can help more households.

How can I apply to access rent relief through this program?

To start the application process, go to 211info.org or contact 211. 211 will ask you some basic questions, including your name, preferred language and contact information.

211 will add you to a list of households who have contacted them to apply. As they work through the list, they’ll refer you to a community agency that will help complete your applications and then distribute your rent assistance directly to your landlord or property manager. 

Here’s a COVID-19 rental assistance visual guide (80.45 KB)that illustrates the process.

Will my money be immediately available?

There will be a waiting period. 

Households should expect to hear back with an update about their application within 3 weeks of their initial call. It might be as long as four to six weeks until your application is completed and your rent assistance is distributed.

What happens if 211’s waitlist says it’s closed?

Depending on demand, you may not be added to 211’s list when you first call. 211 will temporarily close its list any time it reaches roughly 1,000 households. They will reopen the list once the number drops below that threshold.

211 and our community partners are working as quickly as they can to process applications and contact applicants.

Will I need any documents for my application?

Yes. You should gather the documents you’ll need to apply as soon as you can: pay stubs or bank statements that help demonstrate your income; as well as documents that show your housing costs, including any statements that show past-due housing costs, like a late rent notice or note from your landlord.

If you can’t easily obtain those documents, it doesn’t mean you can’t receive help. Alert the agency that’s working with you. Self-certification might be an option.

How much assistance will I receive?

Eligible households can receive up to 3 months of assistance in past, current and future rent payments.

Even if you’ve already received one or two months of assistance, you can apply again to receive the remainder. But please know that resources are limited, and all requests will be funded as resources allow.

Will the assistance be sent to me directly?

No, you won’t receive any funds directly; they will be paid on your behalf to your landlord or property management company, for example. 

What can the assistance funding be used for? 

To prevent evictions at the end of the moratorium, this assistance will prioritize rents due after Sept. 30, rather than other current or past rent. In addition, this assistance can also be used for the following needs:

  • Temporary housing costs, including hotel / motel payments

  • Manufactured home rental space “lot rents” or RV space for primary housing

  • Moving costs, security or utility deposits, and application fees

  • Past rent payments and late fees

Mortgage payments are NOT eligible. If you need assistance with your mortgage, you can contact an Oregon Homeownership Center to learn more about available services that might meet your needs.

Which agencies are participating in the COVID-19 CARES Rent Relief Program? 

A list of agencies can be found in the document linked COVID-19 STRA organization partners (49.02 KB).

I’ve heard about Oregon’s eviction moratorium. How does that affect me? 

The Oregon Legislature approved a statewide COVID-19 eviction moratorium that expires after Sept. 30, 2020. Under that moratorium, no one in Oregon could be evicted just because they can’t pay their rent. Then, on Sept. 24, 2020, Multnomah County approved an extension of that non-payment eviction moratorium for residential renters through Jan. 8, 2021.

That means, for a residential renter in Multnomah County, your landlord cannot evict you for nonpayment of any rent, fees, or utilities due between April 1 and Jan. 8, 2021.

In addition, you will have until July 8, 2021, to pay back any rent owed from these months. 

If your landlord threatens to evict you, your landlord applies late fees, or you need more guidance, you can seek legal advice and support from community resources like the Community Alliance of Tenants or Legal Aid Services of Oregon.

Learn more about how the eviction moratorium protects you at multco.us/covid-eviction.