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Rep. DeFazio Blasts Slowed Distribution of Rental Assistance and Obstruction of Eviction Moratorium Extension

Jul 30, 2021
Press Release

Rep. DeFazio today released the following statement in response to House Republicans blocking a measure that would have extended the CDC’s residential eviction moratorium to October 18, 2021.

“There are two unacceptable obstructions: the state of Oregon’s unacceptable delayed distribution of rental assistance, that will not only help renters but also landlords, and Republican opposition to any eviction moratorium extension. In the midst of a global pandemic health crisis, thousands of individuals and families face the possibility of being evicted tomorrow,” said Rep. DeFazio. “No family should be kicked out of their home because of the economic damage inflicted by the pandemic. Oregon already faces a housing crisis. An eviction crisis will only add to rising homelessness and housing insecurity.”

“The state needs to seriously step up its distribution of aid and ensure that Oregonians behind on rent due to the pandemic receive the millions of dollars of assistance that Congress has already provided. It’s clear that the residential eviction moratorium must be extended to provide more time to distribute aid. I cosponsored legislation that would extend the eviction moratorium and tonight, when we attempted to extend the moratorium and keep the roof over the heads of American families during a health crisis, it was blocked by House Republicans.”

Congress passed two bills that provided Emergency Rental Assistance for states to distribute to individuals and families behind on rent: The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) enacted in December 2020 and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) enacted in March 2021, which provided Oregon a total of $446 million in emergency rental assistance funding - $204 million of which was available to the state of Oregon in January.

To date, 23,772 Oregon households have applied for assistance, and only 1,078 have been provided aid. Of the $204 million allocated to Oregon from the CAA, only $6.6 million has been paid to households since the program was started in January. Nationally, Oregon was one of four states that did not distribute any aid between January 1 and May 31.