Portland renter mediation in effort to avert evictions

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The City Council in Portland, Oregon, has approved funding for a pilot program to divert a small number of tenants and landlords from going to court over eviction filings.   Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the council’s money, approved Wednesday, will pay for a mediator and, in some cases, provide rent assistance. The Council unanimously approved a $150,000 contract to Portland-based nonprofit Resolutions Northwest to provide free mediation services for landlords and tenants locked in disputes that might traditionally lead to eviction filings. The vote comes a few months before an anticipated flood of evictions this summer, when the state’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium expires.