City of Medford cannot help with rent complaints

MEDFORD, Ore. – With so many people let go in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, several people are fearful about paying their rent or house payments on time.

According to Medford City Staffers people are turning to local government. Medford City Councilman Kevin Stine says he is hearing a lot of inquiries from Medford citizens concerned about paying their rent.

“There is no great solution here. This is something we’ve never experienced,” Stine said.

While Stine wants to help, he says that’s not something the city is currently set up to do, instead he points to the counties.

“The county government has the ability to give people a sense of security that they might not have now,” Stine said.

Councilman Stine says neighboring counties are implementing moratoriums, allowing renters a 6 month grace period to pay back their rent. But he doesn’t know if that will happen here. We reached out to the Jackson County about such a proposal and are waiting to hear back.

For now, Councilman Stine urges renters to keep open communication with their landlords prior to the due date.

The Legislation Director for the Oregon Rental Housing Association says the coronavirus outbreak is affecting landlords, too.

“A majority of landlords in the state of Oregon only have one or two rental units. The majority of landlords, like tenants, are living paycheck to paycheck or real close to that,” said Jim Straub.

He says he believes if there is some type of local or statewide “Renters Relief” mandated it could cover both tenants and landlords keeping the flow of money going.

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