PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Portland City Council unanimously approved to dedicate more than $8 million to support renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The emergency rent assistance was approved last week as part of the Mayor's Budget.
The budget reallocates $4.5 million to existing federal funds for rent assistance, plus an additional $3.85 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) revenue allocated to the city through the CARES act.
According to the city officials, the funds are expected to provide at least three months of emergency rent assistance to about 2,000 households.
“We have a responsibility as a city to help those in our community who are more in need during this difficult time,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said. “Every element of the Approved Budget is viewed through an equity lens and this funding provides a platform to ensure housing stability for those in our frontline communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis.”
Details about the program, including eligibility, are still being finalized.
The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) is working with Home Forward, the Joint Office of Homeless Services and other Multnomah County departments to develop a distribution plan.
“Our goal is to develop the best possible program design to assist communities identified by City Council as those most disproportionately impacted by the pandemic – Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and People of Color, people with disabilities, and those facing significant barriers to access,” Portland Housing Bureau Director Shannon Callahan said. “We know how much our fellow Portlanders are hurting, and we want to ensure we can do everything we can to help stabilize Portland families.”
City officials said the framework for the program will be finalized by late June, with it starting on July 1.
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