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LOCAL NEWS: Help for local renters

LOCAL NEWS: Help due for local renters
Rent will be due tomorrow for many people on the North Coast and some won’t be able to make it because of covid-19-related layoffs. Community action agencies are stepping in to help. Coast Community Radio’s Jacob Lewin has details:  
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Clatsop Community Action normally helps with one-time rent assistance for up to 15-hundred people a year, but these are not normal times:
“With so many people being laid off from work, we have seen an increase in requests by about 40-percent so far, and it’s just the end of March.” :11
Agency director Vivianna Mathews. She expects requests will continue to rise so the organization is now participating in a special covid-19 rental assistance program. More money will be available and it will be available faster. Mathews has been trying without success to establish a homeless shelter, although there’s a balance between keeping homeles
s people outside where they can distance themselves and the fact that living outside makes them more susceptible:
“My heart tells me yes, we should have a shelter and try to house as many people as possible, but then how are we going to be able to do it, making sure that we are filling the requirements for the covid-19.’ :15
The homeless also now have less access to hygiene so Community Action is setting up portable bathrooms and hand-washing stations. CARE, Tillamook County’s community action agency is also participating in the special rent assistance program. CARE director Erin Skaar:
“Tillamook County has a very high percentage of workers that are in the service industry that have been laid off very recently from restaurants, motels, from cleaning vacation homes, that kind of thing.” :14
Skaar says the federal government’s decision to boost unemployment payments will help:
“I’m very happy with the package. I think that they really are trying to help people that are going to need it, but we don’t know how long this will last.” :08
But Skaar says that help is weeks away and rent is due tomorrow.
For Coast Community Radio, I’m Jacob Lewin.