Governor Brown took immediate action in March and April through executive orders to keep Oregonians housed during the pandemic. In the first special session of this year, the Legislature passed House Bill 4213, establishing a residential and commercial eviction moratorium through September 30, 2020, with a six-month repayment period. The Governor’s new executive order will help keep Oregonians in their homes until the Legislature can convene later this year to address housing issues.
“Every Oregonian deserves a warm, safe, dry place to call home,” said Governor Brown. “Since the Legislature passed House Bill 4213, thousands of people have been displaced by massive and devastating wildfires, and the global pandemic continues to make it difficult for many Oregonians, including Oregon’s veterans and many families with children, to pay rent, through no fault of their own.
“Keeping economically vulnerable Oregonians in their homes has been critical to the State’s COVID-19 response throughout this pandemic. 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.
“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. While my action today will address the immediate issue of preventing residential evictions through the end of the year, it is my hope that, when the Legislature next meets, they will take up the larger issues we need to address regarding housing relief.”
EO 20-56 establishes a new, temporary residential eviction moratorium through the end of the year, due to the urgent need to prevent a wave of evictions during simultaneous wildfire and pandemic emergency response and recovery efforts. Both crises have had an acute and disproportionate impact on Oregon’s communities of color, including Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, and Latinx, Pacific Islander, and Tribal communities, as well as families living in rural Oregon.
Added Governor Brown: “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. My action today will provide immediate relief, but 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.”