This webpage will be updated as more information is available.
Eviction Protection for Residents and Businesses
The Hillsboro City Council approved new protections for residential and commercial renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic during a special meeting on Wednesday, March 25.
On March 25, 2020 the Hillsboro City Council voted unanimously to approve a temporary moratorium order that prevents residential and commercial tenants from being evicted because of nonpayment of rent, late charges, utility charges, or any other service charges or fees due to wage loss or loss of business income resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The eviction protections will continue throughout the City of Hillsboro’s emergency declaration, which was first officially declared on the morning of Friday, March 13.
The moratorium also prevents the charge or collection of late fees for rent payments that are delayed due to COVID-19 income loss.
Renters are still required to pay any rent money owed, but renters will not be evicted if they are unable to pay rent for reasons related to COVID-19 and renters would have additional time to pay. Evictions can still take place for reasons unrelated to COVID-19.
How to Qualify for Eviction Protection
Affected tenants must:
1. Demonstrate substantial loss of income.
2. Notify their landlords on or before the day that rent is due that they are unable to pay rent, fees or charges due to substantial wage loss or loss of business income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Acceptable documentation to demonstrate substantial loss of income includes, but is not limited to, proof of:
- Loss of employment
- Reduction of wages
- The need for care of family members, including children who have been kept out of school
- Lower gross receipts or closures due to government imposed restrictions
What is an eviction moratorium?
This temporary moratorium order prevents residential and commercial tenants from being evicted because of nonpayment of rent, late charges, utility charges, or any other service charges or fees due to wage loss or loss of business income resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This moratorium also prevents the charge or collection of late fees for rent payments that are delayed due to COVID-19 income loss.
Why did the City issue a temporary eviction moratorium?
Through no fault of their own, many City residents have lost their jobs or seen a decrease in their income due to the necessary and important actions that have been imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect health and lives. The economic impacts of these actions make it extremely difficult or impossible to make residential rent payments. In order for residents to comply with the Governor’s statewide Stay Home, Save Lives order and prevent further spread of COVID-19, the ability to maintain housing during this pandemic is a public health imperative.
Local businesses have also suffered a severe decline in business, which has brought staff layoffs, cancellations, closures, and the inability to make commercial lease payments. The overall impact on the City’s economic health, as well as the increased burden on the City’s ability to provide public services during this state of emergency due to vacant commercial properties creates a significant danger to both life and property in the City.
Is this different than the eviction moratorium issued by the State of Oregon?
The State of Oregon’s temporary eviction moratorium is specific to residential tenants and focuses on prohibiting law enforcement from serving, delivering, or acting on evictions due to nonpayment.
How long is the City’s eviction moratorium in place?
This temporary measure will remain in place for the duration of the City of Hillsboro’s declaration of emergency, which was first declared on Friday, March 13, 2020.
When do tenants need to pay past due rent or other charges that are delayed due to COVID-19?
Tenants have six months after the expiration of the emergency declaration to pay the landlord unpaid rents that qualified to be deferred under this moratorium. Tenants may be evicted for deferred rents, charges and fees that remain unpaid after this six month period has elapsed.
Is rent forgiven during this time?
No. Nothing in this moratorium relieves residential or commercial tenants of liability for unpaid rent, charges or fees, which landlords may seek to collect once the moratorium is no longer in effect, provided that tenants will have six months from that date to pay the unpaid rent, charges or fees without penalty.
Are utility charges included in this deferral?
Utility charges or any other fees or service charges that are paid directly to the landlord (not directly to a third-party provider) qualify for deferral under this moratorium. The process for deferral and timelines for payment are the same for rent.
Can late fees be charged on the past due rent?
No. No late fees may be charged or collected for rent that is deferred for the reasons stated in the moratorium.
What about evictions for causes other than non-payment of rent?
This moratorium applies only to tenants who are affected by COVID-19 and cannot pay rent, fees, services, or utilities normally paid to their landlord because of their substantial loss of income during this emergency. This moratorium does not apply to evictions for any other lawful purpose.
What if a landlord doesn’t comply?
If a landlord fails to comply with this moratorium, the tenant has an affirmative defense in an eviction proceeding.
Any landlord that fails to comply with this moratorium also commits a civil infraction and may be subject to a fine of $500 for each day that a tenant is unable to access their residential or commercial unit due to an eviction taken in violation of this order.
Tenants may also seek protection from the courts by seeking an injunction to stop an eviction prohibited by the moratorium.
Emergency Rent Assistance
In order to help community members who may face eviction as a result of the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis, the City has provided emergency rent assistance funds to our trusted partner, Community Action.
Community Action provides a range of support for renters from emergency payments to longer term assistance depending on funding availability and eligibility requirements. The City of Hillsboro has provided $50,000 in March and will provide another $50,000 in April to support the emergency payment assistance program for tenants facing eviction.
In coordination with Community Action, the City will be able to help 42 households with up to $1,200 in rental assistance right away.
Contact Community Action
Requests for emergency rent assistance can be made by calling Community Action at 503-615-0770 each business day starting at 9 am.
To be eligible, tenants must:
- Be past due on the current month's rent or have received a 72 hour eviction notice for the current month, and
- Have a lease or rental agreement in their name.
- Funds are limited and are distributed on a first come, first served basis until they are depleted for the month.
- Typically, emergency rent assistance can only be accessed once per year. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Community Action has temporarily removed this restriction. Tenants who have already received emergency rent assistance this year are eligible to access this support again.
Other Rent Assistance Resources
Do tenants need to have documentation to show that their income has been impacted by COVID-19?
No, there is no required documentation to show that the need for emergency rent assistance is due directly to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How is a rent assistance payment made?
Emergency rent assistance is paid directly to the landlord.
Can rent assistance be used to pay past due utilities and late fees?
No, this emergency rent assistance is used for rent only. Community Action does have a separate energy assistance program. Visit Community Action's Energy Assistance webpage for more information on that program.
How long is this rent assistance program offered?
Rent assistance is one of Community Action’s ongoing programs to support housing stability. The money donated by the City of Hillsboro to support renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will be used on a first come, first served basis.
Who is Community Action?
Community Action is a trusted community partner whose mission is to lead the way to eliminate conditions of poverty and create opportunities for people and communities to thrive. They serve the community with programs for energy assistance, early childhood development, family development, and housing stability. For more information, visit Community Action’s Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions webpage.