Oregon Governor Kate Brown ordered a new moratorium preventing residential evictions throughout the state until at least the end of 2020.
Her original eviction moratorium, ordered at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, was made law during the Legislature’s first special session, which extended it through Sept. 30 with a six-month repayment period.
On Monday, the governor said through a new executive order that residential evictions for non-payment and other no-cause evictions will be on hold until Dec. 31, due to the continuing pandemic as well as the recent wildfires.
“Every Oregonian deserves a warm, safe, dry place to call home,” Governor Brown said in a statement. “Housing is a critical human need, and, as we enter cold and flu season during a pandemic — and as many students learn remotely from home — it is absolutely critical that people not be turned out of their homes.”
Both the pandemic and the wildfires that have rampaged across the state have disproportionately impacted people of color, Brown said, including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Pacific Islander and Tribal communities, as well as families living in rural Oregon.
“Many of the Oregonians most impacted by the pandemic and wildfire crises are those who can afford it least, and who have already faced housing discrimination and vast disparities in the availability of affordable housing,” Brown said. “We still have much work to do to address the systemic racism that lies at the heart of the affordable housing crisis in our country.”
Keeping economically vulnerable Oregonians in their homes has been an important component of the state’s Covid-19 response throughout the pandemic, Brown said.
“Having a safe and stable home allows individuals to practice effective physical distancing, helps facilitate quarantine and isolation, and helps to prevent families and individuals from being displaced from their homes into more crowded multifamily or congregate living conditions, where the virus can spread more easily,” the governor said.
While this executive order provides immediate relief that would have expired in a few days, Brown said she hopes lawmakers will “take up the larger issues we need to address regarding housing relief” when they next meet.
I neither the executive order itself nor her statement announcing it did the governor address whether she would also extend the eviction moratorium for commercial tenants impacted by the coronavirus shutdowns — which is also set to expire at the end of this month.