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Is Oregon making a mistake? 10,000 families face eviction over Software-induced Crisis

Is Oregon making a mistake? 10,000 families face eviction over Software-induced Crisis

The State procured Allita 360, the software for processing rental assistance applications, faces backlash because of system crashes and ineffective notification processes. The failed software system left 10,000 families facing housing instability.

Software rollout despite system flaws

In a recent op-ed ("Poor oversight, flawed software the culprits in rent assistant debacle," Dec. 13), the State has proceeded with the rollout of the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program in May despite several software hiccups last February. These system problems caused a significant backlog of applications and left landlords and renters in limbo about whether they made it to the program.

If legislators truly want to help renters this winter, they need to hold the housing agency accountable and fix the barriers to accessing rental assistance.

Renters were left unaware of eviction protection.

Although the Legislature passed two bills prohibiting evictions for nonpayment of rent, it was not available to the public until they were voted on in a committee, leaving many renters unaware of the protection until they were in an eviction proceeding.

The solution to backlog applications.

In the months following the failure of the State's rental assistance portal, Oregon Housing, and Community Services gave $1.2 million to a private third-party vendor to process more than 28,000 applications. The agency reports show 145 remote employees processing housing voucher applications of 1.2 per day per contractor.

Oregon renters and landlords have done their part. It's time for the state Legislature to be accountable for mistakes made during the 18 months of waiting and issue checks for those who have had to rely on their landlords' generosity. 

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