UNION COUNTY — Rental assistance is available for those affected by COVID-19 through Community Connection of Northeast Oregon Inc.

Rochelle Hamilton, homeless services manager for the nonprofit, said the state funds could bring some peace of mind to those struggling as a direct result of the novel coronavirus.

“We have many programs, and there is never enough assistance, but this program is a way to help those directly impacted by COVID,” Hamilton said. “If you have never been in this situation before I can just imagine the stress a person must be under.”

The funding came as part of the Oregon Legislature’s $12 million to Oregon housing and community services, with $8.5 million to provide rent relief. Community Connection received $162,250 to provide assistance to those who have been unable to pay rent due to a loss in income or job loss.

This loss in income, according to Hamilton, can include those who still work but had to cut back on hours due to the need to stay home for reasons including someone in the household being sick, or lack of childcare and needing to stay home and watch children.

The only other requirement for funding assistance is the person or family requesting must be under the income limit for their county. For Union, Baker and Grant Counties that means an individual must make less than $21,500 to qualify, more if there are multiple members of a household. Wallowa County residents income limit for an individual is $22,300.

For more information, visit Community Connection’s website at www.ccno.org.

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