Oregon legislature passes eviction protection bill during second Special Session


Ethan Kispert


Senate Bill 891, a bill sponsored by Sen. Peter Courtney (D – Salem), passed in the senate during the legislature’s second Special Session by a vote of 22 to 6. The bill also passed in the house by a vote of 37 to 18. 


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The bill aims to prolong the time a tenant has before being evicted, assuming the renter has documentation proving that they’ve applied for emergency assistance before June 30, 2022. 

The legislation garnered mixed opinions from the chamber. 

One senator expressed the need for this bill and the desperate times Oregon’s renters are going through during the pandemic. Sen. Tim Knopp (R – Bend), who voted in favor of the bill, stated that many Oregonians are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and this bill would help them in particular. 

Oregon’s Eviction Moratorium is set to expire on June 30, 2022. Following this deadline, renters who fail to pay their lease will face the threat of eviction. SB 891, however, will give renters applying for emergency assistance more time to meet their rent based on how long that emergency application takes. 

Sen. Fred Girod (R – Stayton), who voted against the bill, stated that the bill doesn’t address the root concern about renters’ struggles during the pandemic. According to the senator, renters appear to be using pandemic funds and rental assistance as a reason not to work. 

“I don’t really believe that there are cautions being taken to make sure that able-bodied people are not using this (eviction protection) as a crutch and not to go into the workforce.” 

In voting no, Sen. Girod emphasized that the problem renters are facing is due to a supply and demand issue within the workforce. In his explanation, he described how the costs for items such as food and other necessities go up when companies are struggling to meet staffing requirements. 

He said:

“Until you address the supply issue, you might as well just throw money at a wall.” 

Following a successful vote by both chambers, the bill is awaiting transfer to Governor Kate Brown for further action.