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Community Services Consortium has received an additional two and half a million dollars of state funding to use as emergency rental assistance for residents of Linn, Benton and Lincoln Counties who have suffered job loss or under-employment due to COVID-19.

A community action agency committed to ending poverty and improving lives, Community Services Consortium (CSC) serves over 75,000 people a year. With offices in Albany, Corvallis and Newport Ore., services include energy and utility assistance, access to training and education, and providing food and housing.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, CSC has assisted more than 2,100 people in 750 households located in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln Counties with COVID-specific rental assistance. The agency has put $3,660,078 into the hands of local landlords on behalf of tenants who have been struggling to pay rent during the pandemic.

The new funding, available today, was approved by the state Legislature as part of the recent Eviction Moratorium legislation passed in December. It is intended to assist tenants who are behind in rent due to financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are being accepted beginning Tuesday, February 23, 2021 for residents that qualify in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties via CSC’s online application.

“CSC has prevented thousands of people, including hundreds of families with children, from becoming homeless since the pandemic began”, said Dina Eldridge, Housing Services Manager of Community Services Consortium. “The need for assistance has not ended, however, and we are grateful that our state Legislature understands that keeping people housed remains a top priority."

Applicants for CSC’s 2021 COVID Rental Assistance program must meet the following criteria:

Be a renter living in Linn, Benton, or Lincoln County;

Owe back rent to their landlord incurred since April 1, 2020;

Lost job/income due to COVID-19 closures or illness; and

Meet household income requirements for their county (limit is 80% area median income);

Interested applicants can access pre-screening questions to determine eligibility for the program on the CSC website at CommunityServices.us/RentRelief. If applicants pass the pre-screen, they will be directed to complete the full application online.

While applying online is the quickest way to receive this assistance, those unable to apply online can call CSC’s COVID assistance line at (541) 704-7506 and leave a message with their contact information. Interested applicants will be contacted directly to schedule phone intake appointments.

For more information, visit the CSC website.

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