Eviction Legal Defense Program – Outreach Services RFQ

Bids and Proposals
Requests for Qualifications. Responses due 5:00 PM on Thursday, May 12, 2022. An optional information session will be held on May 5. Please register through the link in the details. FAQ now available below "How to Apply."
key and house-shaped keychain

Requests for Qualifications

Issue Date: April 28, 2022
Responses Due: Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 5:00 PM

Overview

The Portland Housing Bureau’s Rental Services Office is responsible for fair housing and landlord-tenant services, developing code and administrative rules associated with local landlord-tenant law, processing exemptions to local mandatory relocation assistance, and providing technical assistance and information to renters and landlords on general landlord-tenant law.

The goal of the Eviction Legal Defense Program is to provide free legal services to low-income tenants facing eviction. Historically, Portland tenants facing eviction have little to no chance of being represented by a lawyer. In 2019, of the 5,904 eviction cases filed in Multnomah County, only 3% of tenants had lawyers. The majority of the BIPOC community are renters and disproportionately suffer the long-lasting negative impacts of evictions including homelessness, decreased health outcomes, job loss, poor educational performance for children, and housing discrimination.

The Eviction Legal Defense Program increases tenants’ rates of representation with the aim of shifting the power imbalance between landlords and tenants, keeping more tenants housed, and preventing the entry of eviction judgments on tenants’ records. By partnering with the Oregon Law Center, Portland Community College’s Clear Clinic, and United Way of the Columbia-Willamette this program serves tenants at or below 60% of the area median income (with limited services for tenants between 60% and 80%) who have received a notice terminating their tenancy, a notice terminating their housing subsidy, or a summons for an eviction court case.  An attorney or legal professional will advise eligible tenants of their rights and may represent them through negotiation and/or in eviction court.

This request for qualifications is being issued to identify a list of potential organizations to provide outreach services for the Eviction Legal Defense Program to eligible tenants most at risk of eviction, which includes residents of subsidized housing, BIPOC renters, and renters living in East Portland. Outreach services will focus on tenants who have received a notice of termination or notice of housing subsidy termination in advance of an eviction case being filed.  Targeted outreach locations may be provided by PHB and/or program legal providers based on current eviction filings hotspots. Qualified program providers will be those with experience engaging in outreach services to low-income communities and the ability to engage in effective outreach to BIPOC renters and/or renters living in subsidized housing. Outreach services should be performed in a community-based and culturally informed manner. Organizations must be a designated 503c(3) nonprofit entity to qualify. Culturally specific agencies serving BIPOC communities are encouraged to apply.

The total resources available are:

  • Up to $77,872.57 in direct contracts to provide outreach services.
  • More than one provider may be selected.
  • Partnerships and collaboration are welcome.

Information Session

non-mandatory information session for this solicitation will be held:

Thursday, May 5, 2022
2:00 to 3:00 PM
via Zoom (For help, see PHB's online meeting guide)

Register here

Solicitation Coordinator

All questions and responses should be directed to the Solicitation Coordinator, with contact information below:

Christina Dirks
Rental Housing Policy and Program Coordinator
Christina.Dirks@portlandoregon.gov
(503) 865-6663

Portland Housing Bureau, Rental Services Office
1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7007
Portland, Oregon  97201

Key Deadlines

  1. Request for Qualifications Issued: April 28, 2022
  2. Non-Mandatory Information Session: May 5, 2022
  3. Responses Due: May 12, 2022 at 5:00 PM
  4. Date by which all funds must be expended: June 30, 2023

All submissions must be received by the deadline to be considered. The Portland Housing Bureau reserves the right to change any dates to serve the goals of the Request for Qualifications.

How to Apply

Interested parties must submit a response, no longer than 3-pages, that includes:

  1. Name of the organization and contact information.
  2. Summary of experience and/or ability to provide outreach services to low-income tenants who are most at risk of eviction especially the BIPOC community and/or tenants residing in subsidized housing.  If your organization has unique relationships with certain communities, please describe these relationships including the work you have done to serve this community and outcomes.
  3. Overview of current organizing and/or outreach methods being used including any reliance of volunteers and associated training/support.
  4. Estimated cost structure and a description of potential costs.

All applicants should be prepared to provide any additional requested documentation and budget information within one week of being notified that you have been determined to be qualified and are in consideration for being the selected program provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who are the current providers in the Eviction Legal Defense Program and what are their respective roles in the Program?
    The Eviction Legal Defense Program Providers are Oregon Law Center, Portland Community College’s Clear Clinic, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, and Portland State University. Oregon Law Center and Portland Community College both provide legal services. In general, Oregon Law Center provides legal representation on filed eviction cases and Portland Community Collect provides legal representation on notices of terminations and housing subsidy terminations (cases not yet filed in court). United Way of the Columbia-Willamette administers financial assistance to resolve pending terminations and evictions to program participants. Portland State University preforms data analysis and program evaluation.
     
  2. What is the program eligibility for the Eviction Legal Defense Program?
    In order to be eligible for services from the Eviction Legal Defense Program a tenant must:
    • Have a household income at 60% AMI or below (limited services available for those 60-80% AMI)
    • Rent a dwelling unit within the City of Portland
    • Be facing eviction due to a pending notice of termination, loss of housing subsidy, or eviction court case for any reason (not limited to non-payment of rent)
       
  3. What is the goal of the Eviction Legal Defense Program’s Outreach Services?
    The goal of the outreach services is to increase awareness of the Eviction Legal Defense Program by eligible tenants most at risk of eviction, which includes residents of subsidized housing, BIPOC renters, and renters living in East Portland.
     
  4. What are the current outreach efforts for the Eviction Legal Defense Program? How effective have they been?
    Up until this point, outreach has been through PHB’s social media platforms, some flyering in the community, and connecting directly with applicable community-based organizations. In addition, Portland Community College has budgeted for a part-time staff person focused on outreach for this program. Any selected outreach services provider will likely coordinate outreach efforts with this staff person.

    We have not tracked the success of these outreach efforts.
     
  5. How do you define “outreach services” for the purposes of this request?
    Outreach services are any methods deemed appropriate and effective to inform the target community of the services provided by the Eviction Legal Defense Program. Those methods may look different depending on the community the outreach services are targeting.
     
  6. Would applications from partnerships between different organizations be welcome?
    Yes, partnerships are welcome.
     
  7. Do you have numeric outcome goals?
    We do not. We recognize that different methods of outreach will result in different numeric outcomes.
     
  8. What is the duration of the outreach program? Can the contract be renewed? What is the duration of the Eviction Legal Defense program?
    The duration of the outreach program is through June 30, 2023. The outreach program is funded through one-time federal American Rescue Plan Act money and will not be renewed unless additional funds are identified and allocated. The Eviction Legal Defense program will remain in it’s current scale though June 30, 2023. After that date, the Eviction Legal Defense Program will continue in a scaled-down version.
     
  9. Is outreach limited to connecting tenants to the program? Could other outreach activities such as reach out to landlords to try and resolve the legal dispute also be considered outreach for purposes of this contract?
    For purposes of this contract, outreach is limited to increasing awareness by tenants of the Eviction Legal Defense Program. Outreach does not include reaching out to landlords housing those tenants at risk of eviction.
     
  10. Do you envision a certain way referrals from the outreach services provider to the legal services providers would happen?
    Not at this time. Once selected, we will work with the outreach service provider and the legal service providers to determine the best method to connect identified eligible tenants with the program providers.
     
  11. How will clients be referred to Oregon Law Center versus PCC’s Clear Clinic (the two legal services provider)? Is that for the outreach provider to decide?
    The Eviction Legal Defense Program utilizes a centralized intake phone number and email that is triaged by the Oregon Law Center. The provider of outreach services will not need to determine which legal services provider is the most appropriate referral for an eligible tenant.
     
  12. How much detail is needed for a proposed budget in the initial submission?
    A rough budget sketch is all that is needed for the initial submission. The initial submission will be reviewed to determine if the respondent meets minimum qualifications. The minimum qualifications are: 1) Experience engaging in outreach services to low-income communities; and 2) Ability to engage in effective outreach to BIPOC renters and/or renters living in subsidized housing.More detailed budget information will be requested from respondents deemed qualified prior to a final decision being made.
     
  13. What are the contract reporting requirements?
    The selected provider will be required to submit quarterly reports summarizing the program outputs and outcomes achieved to date using the format provided in the contract. The selected program provider will also be required to enter information on services provided and demographic information for all participant households in the on-line database system ServicePoint (HMIS) on a quarterly basis.

For additional questions contact the solicitation coordinator:

Christina Dirks
Policy and Program Coordinator
Portland Housing Bureau, Rental Services Office
Christina.Dirks@portlandoregon.gov
(503) 865-6663

Solicitation Location

Portland.gov/phb/rental-services/events