Regional Long-term Rental Assistance (RLRA)

Posted By: Jonathan Clay Industry News, Portland/SW Washington,

Local housing authorities have been innovating their efforts to connect more low-income Oregonians with housing providers. Successive and successful ballot measures, allocating new resources to build and maintain affordable housing, topped off by recent additional state dollars citing Oregon’s housing shortage and homelessness emergency, have finally delivered robust and critical rental assistance dollars to keep people housed.

Regional Long-term Rent Assistance (RLRA) programs, operated by housing authorities, are comprised of a combination of local and state funding that have more flexibility and capacity to help those in need compared to federal LIHTC or Sec. 8 housing programs. The increased housing program funding has allowed RLRA to go beyond small pilot programs to make huge strides in reducing homelessness and creating housing stability.

Clackamas County Housing Authority has implemented an array of common-sense incentives for housing providers. With their RLRA program, they are partners in creating stable homes with guaranteed rental income, case managers assigned to each participant, vacancy payments, cash bonuses for sitting aside units and/or modifying screening criteria and access to risk mitigation funds for eligible damage and expenses. Clackamas County’s RLRA program retention rate is 97%! There is a team of support at the housing authority available to answer questions and support housing providers.

The housing authorities in Washington County and Multnomah County in the Portland Metro area also offer RLRA housing strategies, with varying degrees of incentives including rent guarantees, security deposit assistance, access to  damage mitigation funds, etc.

The majority of RLRA dollars in the Portland Metro area are from the Supportive Housing Services ballot measure passed in May 2020. For the tax years 2021-2030 it collects 1% tax on household income above 200k and individual income above 150k, in addition to a 1% profit tax on businesses with gross receipts higher than $5 million for homeless services. The measure is forecasted to earn $246 million annually, distributed throughout the Metro region.

The Housing Development Center is hosting information sessions on the Risk Mitigation Program (RMP) for participants in Regional Long-term Rental Assistance (RLRA) programs to learn more about the program, eligible expenses, limits on claim amounts and how to file a claim:

Monday, May 22nd 10:00am-11:00am – Zoom link

Wednesday, May 24th 4:00pm-5:00pm – Zoom link

The RLRA RMP is intended to reimburse landlords for extraordinary expenses not covered by security deposits, insurance payments, or other forms of reimbursement. The RMP will cover limited unit repair, legal action, and uncollected rents that are the responsibility of the tenant. The RMP is not meant to be a replacement for insurance or filing an insurance claim; it is an added benefit for landlords participating in the RLRA program.

Considering these safeguards, participation in RLRA programs is an easy way for housing providers to play a larger role in addressing our housing crisis and utilize resources designed to stabilize housing for Oregonians.