Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah counties are excited to announce the launch of the regional long-term rent assistance (RLRA) Risk Mitigation Program. The new program, part of the counties’ regional strategy to end homelessness, offers financial protection to landlords. Its purpose: to expand housing opportunities for vulnerable families and individuals who would otherwise be unsheltered in the tri-county area.
The program is available to owners of housing units that receive rent subsidy through the tri-county RLRA program. The RLRA vouchers, distributed by Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah counties, assist renters who are at substantial risk of homelessness. The RLRA Risk Mitigation Program enhances the impact of the RLRA program by providing financial protection to landlords who operate RLRA-assisted units. A growing number of private landlords are working with their county governments to put these vouchers to use.
“One of our elderly participants recently transitioned from independent living to assisted living after an extended hospital stay. The last thing she needed to worry about was how to cover the cost of damages to the unit—which were incurred when she started having trouble navigating around the unit with her mobility device, and when the EMTs had to enter the unit to respond to her urgent medical needs,” said Corrie Etheredge of Northwest Family Services. “Thankfully, the [RLRA Risk Mitigation Program] was able to help cover the damages as well as the rent she was unable to pay during the transition. This provided the participant the support she needed to transition to her next home, and it helped our agency maintain a positive relationship with the property, where we hope to help other seniors find housing.”
The way the RLRA Risk Mitigation Program works is simple. If a landlord experiences excessive damage expenses or operational losses associated with an RLRA-assisted unit, the landlord can request reimbursement. For instance, if a resident of an RLRA-assisted unit caused physical damage to the unit, the landlord can request reimbursement for repair costs. Likewise, if a resident of an RLRA-assisted unit fails to pay rent owed, the landlord can request reimbursement for the lost income. The reimbursement claims process is administered by Housing Development Center, a Portland-based nonprofit. (Housing Development Center administers a separate risk mitigation program, on which the RLRA Risk Mitigation Program is modeled, in partnership with Portland Housing Bureau.)
Owners of qualifying units can use the RLRA Risk Mitigation Program immediately. Any landlord that operates an RLRA-assisted housing unit, regardless of whether the RLRA assistance is tenant-based or project-based, is eligible to participate.
Qualifying landlords that want to learn more about the program can start by visiting Housing Development Center’s RLRA Risk Mitigation Program webpage at www.hdc-nw.or/rlra-rmp. It contains details about how the program works, contact information for claims administration staff, and instructions on how to submit a reimbursement claim.
Landlords that want to learn more about how to participate in the RLRA rent assistance program can contact the RLRA landlord liaison for the applicable county (Clackamas, Multnomah, or Washington).
- Washington County: [email protected]
- Clackamas County: [email protected]
- Multnomah County: [email protected]
The RLRA Risk Mitigation Program is part of coordinated effort by the counties and community partners to mitigate housing disparities and economic inequality in the tri-county area. By offering a financial safety net to owners of RLRA-assisted units, the program will empower landlords to join this coordinated effort—and to better serve those facing the highest barriers to housing access. Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah counties are pleased to celebrate the launch of the RLRA Risk Mitigation Program and look forward to working with landlords across the region to put its benefits to use.
If you are in need of housing assistance, such as an RLRA voucher, please contact 211 or one of the counties:
- Washington County’s Community Connect at 503-640-3263
- Clackamas County’s Coordinated Housing Access at 503-655-8575
- Multnomah County’s Coordinated Housing Access Team at 844-765-9384