We're Here to Help!
- By Laura Bower
- March 26, 2020
*Updated: April 27, 2020
We know this is an uncertain and frightening time, but Think is here to help you in any way we can. Below we've assembled information to help homeowners, tenants, and small business owners navigate this unprecedented time. Please reach out to us with any questions you have - we are ready and waiting to talk you through the changing market, the impacts of COVID-19, or just to chat. We're all in this together!
Please note, this post will be updated regularly as the situation evolves.
RESOURCES FOR HOMEOWNERS
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac:
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac have tools for homeowners for relief related to the COVID-19 crisis.
- Does Fannie Mae own your loan? Find out here.
- Does Freddie Mac own your loan? Find out here.
- If your loan is with Fannie Mae, click here for help.
- If your loan is with Freddie Mac, click here for help.
- Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline: Get free housing counseling and immediate assistance. Available online at www.995HOPE.org or via phone at 888-995-HOPE (4673)
- Avoiding Foreclosure: Advice for how to stay in your home, leave your home, or explore reverse mortgages.
- Look up your mortgage company to contact them directly about assistance
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Housing Counseling:
HUD sponsors housing counseling agencies around the country that provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, and other housing-related issues.
Oregon Homeowner Support
Oregon Homeowner Support is a service offered by the State of Oregon to help Oregon Homeowners avoid foreclosure. It provides free advice from a certified, trustworthy source, and offers foreclosure counseling, workshops, and legal assistance.
RESOURCES FOR TENANTS
Moratoriums on Evictions: The State of Oregon and many other cities and counties have imposed a moratorium on residential evictions on the basis of nonpayment of rent due to wage loss resulting from COVID-19.
- Oregon State Governor Executive Order 20-11
- Details for City of Portland/Multnomah County Residents
- Details for Clackamas County Residents
Oregon Community Alliance of Tenants: The Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) is a statewide, tenant-controlled, tenant-rights organization. CAT's mission is to educate and empower tenants to demand safe, stable and affordable rental homes. See CAT's COVID-19 information for tenants.
Other Tenant Resources:
- City of Portland Resources for Landlords and Tenants
- Free legal information from Legal Aid Services of Oregon & Oregon Law Center including Oregon Tenant Rights during COVID-19
RESOURCES FOR BUSINESS OWNERS
Business Portland (Oregon's official State Economic Development Agency) has partnered with the Oregon Employment Department, the Oregon Secretary of State, and the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services to create the Small Business Navigator, a comprehensive source for programs supporting Oregon small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources include Federal, State, and Local financial assistance and aid; information on workers and employee assistance, and debt relief.
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley has created an Online Economic Recovery Hub for Oregon Businesses and 501(c)(3) Nonprofits called Operation: Main Street. It includes details about the recent aid package passed by congress and links to applications associated with the Relief Bill.
The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) was signed into law March 25th to provide economic relief for Americans, businesses, and the healthcare industry. The Act includes aid for small businesses around the country via the Paycheck Protection Program. The program authorizes small businesses, eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, Tribal businesses, as well as independent contractors and individuals who are self-employed to receive aid in the way of relief loans. Visit the U.S. Department of the Treasury website for more details. A basic overview of the program can be found here.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a Small Business Guide and Checklist for COVID-19-related Emergency Loans. You can also visit their website for information on how to file for a relief loan if you’re a small business, independent contractor, or gig economy worker.
U.S. Small Business Association (SBA): SBA has put together a list of Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources that includes advice, loan programs, government contracting and local assistance.
Greater Portland, Inc is also a great source for local businesses in need of assistance. Their Resources for Greater Portland Businesses page includes City, County, Regional, Oregon, Washington, and National/Federal resources as well as advice, and webinars.
Travel Portland has compiled a list of local and national resources for local businesses impacted by the crisis. updated 4/20
Business for a Better Portland created the BBPDX Switchboard for local business owners to share information and resources, best practices, find answers, and build community.
The City of Portland has created an emergency fund for small businesses located in Portland’s Jade District or Old Town Chinatown. Asian and Pacific Islander business owners will be prioritized. **3/26/20 UPDATE: Applications are now closed, but other grant opportunities are available through the City of Portland here.
Opportunity Fund is providing grants and low-interest rate loans to businesses owned by women, immigrants and people of color.
Facebook has announced a Small Business Grants Program which will distribute cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses.
Forbes has compiled a list of free software that businesses and schools can use during the COVID-19 Crisis
Various relief funds have been created for restaurant owners and food service workers, including the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund and the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
RESOURCES FOR EVERYONE
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley has created a Federal Emergency Assistance FAQ sheet covering Federal Emergency Aid Package that Congress recently passed. It includes information on direct payments, childcare, unemployment, and more.
Business Portland (Oregon's official State Economic Development Agency) has included a section for employees in their newly created Small Business Navigator. Scroll to the bottom and click "For Employees" under Resources for Employees and Otheres for resources related to layoffs, sick leave, caring for a loved one, health insurance, and more.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): CFPB works to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices and provide people with the information, steps, and tools that they need to make smart financial decisions. They provide specific steps for how to protect yourself financially during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS): The IRS has extended the deadline for personal tax returns from April 15th to July 15th. You can find their current tax relief efforts related to COVID-19 here, including information on Stimulus payments.
State of Oregon Unemployment Insurance: click here for information on COVID-19 related business layoffs, closures, and unemployment insurance benefits for workers, employers, and job seekers. You can also sign up for email updates.
Help Paying Bills or Rent: There are many organizations in Oregon that offer assistance to those struggling financially.
- 211info is a nonprofit organization that helps people in Oregon and Southwest Washington identify, navigate and connect with the local resources they need. Click here to see what resources may be available to you.
- Home Forward is a local government agency that provides access to affordable housing and services, including help paying your rent or mortgage. Click here for information on receiving help to pay your rent. updated 4/18
- Impact NW is a non profit that works to prevent homelessness in our community. Learn more about the services they offer here.
- Help with Utilities: local utilities, including Portland Water Bureau, Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, Northwest Natural Gas will not be shutting off service or charging late fees during the current COVID-19 crisis.
- Other Bills: Some internet and cable providers like Comcast/Xfinity and CenturyLink (updated 4/21) are suspending disconnections and fees right now. **Please note: you must contact Comcast/Xfinity directly to receive this support.**
Banks: individual banks announced their own policies for helping consumers, including mortgage holders and credit card customers
- National Banks:
- Local & Regional Banks:
- Credit Unions:
We know this is all a lot to handle right now. If you're in distress and need help, there are Crisis Lines available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help:
- Multnomah County: 503-988-4888
- Clackamas County: 503-655-8585
- Washington County: 503-291-9111
- Southwest Washington: 1-800-626-8137
- Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
- Lines for Life are with you, 24/7 with free, confidential, and anonymous help. Their highly trained staff and volunteers provide immediate assistance, compassionate support, and resource referrals that can put you on a path to healing. Please remember help on the phone is always available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and interpreters are available.
- Suicide Lifeline: 800-273-8255
- Alcohol and Drug Helpline: 800-923-4357
- Military Helpline: 888-457-4838
- Seniors: 503-200-1633
- Youth: 877-968-8491
- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and press 1
- Text 838255
- Chat online
There are additional mental health resources available here from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
If you are facing a life-threatening emergency, please dial 911.
If you just need someone to talk to, to help navigate these trying times, The Portland Mercury put together some great tips for how to find a good online therapist.
If you need help securing food for yourself or your family, organizations are still operating under limited contact rules to provide help.
Oregon Food Bank is still operating and many of their over 1,400 partner pantries and food assistance sites across Oregon and Southwest Washington are open. Find food available near you here.
Clark County Food Bank is also still operating. Click here for a map of Food Pantry locations. Please call ahead to verify hours of operation.
Hunger Fighters Oregon in Lake Oswego is currently open extended hours. Find more information here. updated weekly
Meals for Children and Students:
Most local school districts are offering free breakfast and lunch to children ages 1-18 at certain locations or by bus delivery. Click on the links below for information on individual districts:
- Beaverton School District
- Camas School District updated 4/14
- Canby School District updated 3/31
- David Douglas School District
- Evergreen Public Schools (Vancouver, WA) updated 4/6
- Forest Grove School District updated 4/8
- Gresham-Barlow School District updated 4/7
- Hillsboro School District updated 3/30
- Lake Oswego School District
- McMinnville School District
- Newberg School District updated 4/1
- North Clackamas School District updated 4/17
- Oregon City School District updated 4/14
- Parkrose School District
- Portland Public Schools
- Reynolds School District
- Sherwood School District updated 3/27
- Tigard-Tualatin School District updated 4/15
- Vancouver Public Schools
- West Linn-Wilsonville School District
Unfortunately, times of uncertainty and crisis also bring out scam artists. Beware of anyone contacting you with an offer that seems too good to be true - they often are! Visit the Fannie Mae website for information on how to spot a scam.