It's yet another indication of how dramatically the new coronavirus is upending the normal course of life, local elected officials will announce details tomorrow of a plan to halt evictions.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Chairwoman Deborah Kafoury will announce the eviction moratorium. Kafoury broke the news early this evening on Twitter. Officials are expected to explain the mechanism for halting the enforcement of evictions at 9 am Tuesday.
The halt on evictions is intended to keep renters housed as many places of employment—including restaurants and bars—shut down en masse under government order.
Last week, City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and council candidate Margot Black, a co-founder of Portland Tenants United, had held a press conference to call for an eviction moritorium. Mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone had done the same earlier in the week. The three represent the left flank of solidly blue Portland politics. (Portland Tenants United had 6,105 signatures to a petition calling for a moratorium.)
At the same time, other elected officials have called for the same halt to evictions. County Commissioner Sharon Meieran and even city council candidate Loretta Smith, a former county commissioner who is known as a business-friendly centrist, had also called for a moratorium.
It's not an unheard-of decision. Across the country, other cities have done the same: Seattle, San Francisco and Miami have also halted evictions.
The move is aimed at preventing people from losing their homes in the midst of a health crisis and what appears to be the beginning of an economic recession.