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Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is distributing $55,000,000 in COVID rental relief funds and $15,000,000 in Energy Assistance to local organizations statewide.

“Rental and energy assistance provides immediate relief to people in crisis,” OHCS Executive Director Margaret Salazar said. “I am very happy we were able to act swiftly to get these additional resources into communities to help our friends and neighbors who are struggling to make ends meet.”

At the June Joint Emergency Board meeting, state lawmakers unanimously allocated $95 million in Coronavirus Relief funds to OHCS for housing stabilization, rent assistance and energy assistance. $55,000,000 is dedicated to emergency rental assistance. These resources will augment the COVID Rent Relief Program announced by the state in May. Eligible tenants must have had their ability to pay rent impacted by the COVID pandemic and live at or below 80% in Area Media Income (AMI) of the county for which they reside.

“This rent relief will help to ease the financial strain on Oregon families who have been unable to pay rent due to COVID-19, but we have more work to do,” Governor Kate Brown said. “I will continue to work with legislative leaders, community partners, and Oregon Housing and Community Services to help Oregonians who are struggling financially to stay housed during this pandemic.”

The rental relief funds were distributed to Community Action Agencies (CAAs) across the state. The Oregon Legislature also provided $15,000,000 in Energy Assistance to Oregonians financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Oregonians concerned about their ability to make upcoming rent payments or concerned about keeping the lights on should contact 211 to find out about assistance options in their area.

CAAs and key partners are taking applications for assistance from residents in their service area. These services are provided free of charge by CAAs.

To find out how to access these resources in your area visit 211info.org or call 2-1-1. The full list of Community Action Agencies, funding allocation amounts and service territories with contact information can be found on the map attached to this story.

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