Oregon extends eviction moratorium (sort of), seeks kids back in schools

As many Oregonians went into Christmas break last week, policy makers in Salem passed legislation and announced several new changes, from housing to schools.

The biggest piece came in legislation passed Monday that extends the eviction moratorium until the end of June. Before this legislation passed the moratorium was set to pass at the end of this year. This time around the eviction moratorium is different in that renters’ must provide their landlords with “declaration of financial hardship” form. Landlords will still be able to evict tenants for reasons outside of nonpayment.

The legislation allows landlords to receive payments from the state to compensate them for 80% of rent that has not been paid by qualified tenants dating back to April, 2020. However some landlords are not satisfied, as a group of landlords has filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the eviction ban.

On Wednesday, Gov. Brown sent a letter to Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education Directors on changes to protocols for K-12 school openings. As of January 1 Oregon’s COVID-19 Health Metrics for Returning to In-Person Instruction will not be mandatory and instead be advisory, allowing local school boards to make the decisions on resuming in-person learning. The Governor is setting her sights on Feb. 15 for more schools to begin in person instruction.

Local links

  • The Egan Warming Center activated Sunday and will be activating Monday. Egan notes that there is still a pressing need for volunteers. Many of their previously active volunteers are older adults who have been restricted from volunteering this year over COVID safety.

  • Oregon Supreme Court ruled that disgraced former Springfield cop Neil Halttunen, who used his badge to sexually harass and prey on vulnerable women, is allowed to work as a lawyer

  • “Freshman enrollment at UO fell by more than 13% from last year; 3,940 first-year students enrolled at the university this year compared to a record 4,560 in 2019, according to [Vice president for Student Services and Enrollment Management] Thompson.”

  • UO Administrators let their pay cuts lapse that they initially took in April, despite facing a $3.4M budget deficit

  • Eugene offers no substitute shelter as it destroys homeless encampments

The Week ahead