Updated Sept. 27, 2021
Multnomah County announced Tuesday, Sept. 21 that it has begun two-day text message campaign to alert cell phone users in Multnomah County on how to avoid eviction for non-payment of rent during the pandemic. About 380,000 residents are expected to receive the text over two days (Tuesday and Wednesday). It is part of a multi-pronged effort to keep people housed by telling them how to get help.
(Sept. 27, 2021 update: the text message campaign will take place over multiple days: Tuesday, Sept. 21, through Monday, Sept. 27. Messages will not be sent on Saturday, Sept. 25 or Sunday, Sept. 26.)
The alert, written in English and Spanish, informs residents about financial and legal resources available to them if they receive a notice of eviction. The text message reads as either of the following:
"Alert from Multnomah County:
Renters, if you receive a notice of eviction, call 211 immediately. Financial & legal help is available: multco.us/rentrelief
Inquilinos, si recibe un aviso de desalojo, llame al 211 de inmediato. Hay ayuda financiera y legal disponible: multco.us/rentrelief", or
"Message from Multnomah County:
Renters, if you receive a notice of eviction, call 211 immediately. Financial & legal help is available.
Inquilinos, si recibe un aviso de desalojo, llame al 211 de inmediato. Hay ayuda financiera y legal disponible.
For more information/para más información: multco.us/rentrelief"
The URL may also appear with a different domain (e.g., multco.live, multnomah.live, multco.click, etc.).
Frequently Asked Questions
How was the list of recipients gathered?
The list of phone numbers comes from our vendor’s data partners, who leverage publicly available sources such as voter registration files, along with commercial marketing sources, to help enrich the file and pull unregistered residents. It’s similar to the process of building out direct mail lists.
How many people did this text message go out to?
The campaign will reach approximately 380,000 residents over three days (Tuesday through Thursday).
Why the campaign?
This campaign aims to let the vast majority of renters in the county know that calling 211 is the most immediate step they can take to get connected to Multnomah County’s eviction defense team if they ever receive an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent.
The text message also points people to multco.us/rentrelief, where people who need help paying current and/or back rent are directed to the state’s rent assistance portal. That webpage also provides information about eviction protections, namely the safe harbor protections offered by SB 278.
How can recipients be removed?
Anyone can opt out by texting back "unsubscribe," "opt out," "stop" or any similar phrase. The phone number will be removed from the list, and the individual will be removed from any future campaigns that Multnomah County uses this particular vendor for.
Why is the text message this length?
We are limited by the word count best practices as advised by our vendor. Our top goals were making sure people know what to do if/when they receive a notice of eviction; providing a webpage where that message is reinforced and where they are pointed to the main avenue for applying for rent relief (which makes them eligible for safe harbor); and increasing accessibility by including a Spanish version of the English message.
Why are the URLs different from the actual County website domain?
This is a practice done by the vendor to keep their text message campaign from being flagged as spam by wireless carriers. It also aids in tracking click-through performance of the campaign.
What else is the County doing to make sure people have this information?
- Facebook ads reaching users in Multnomah County are slated to run over the next month, and potentially beyond
- A postcard mailer will be sent to every residential household in the county; they will arrive in mailboxes approximately the first week October
- Radio/TV/newspaper ads