$422 million for people who lost homes
Grants to help recovery from wildfire destruction
October 13, 2022 | View PDF
Under a $422,286,000 federal grant, Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) will administer the “ReOregon” program for disaster recovery funds tied to the 2020 Labor Day fires. The money grant is intended to support rebuilding housing, particularly for low- and moderate-income survivors, revitalize communities, and prepare affected areas to withstand future disasters.
Officials say OHCS proposes implementing programs directly—while allowing survivors to work with local partners in the application process the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires. At least 15% of funds must be used to mitigate future disasters, while 70% are to be used for programs or projects that will benefit low- to moderate-income residents.
The Homeowner Assistance and Reconstruction Program (HARP) helps survivors repair, replace, or rebuild homes depending on the damage and has been allocated $204.5 million.
The Homeownership Opportunities Program (HOP) which helps families own a home is to receive $119 million.
$40 million was dedicated to the Disaster Resilience Infrastructure Program for long-term grants to reduce losses and protect life and property from future disasters.
Another $21 million is intended to cover costs for overall the program’s management, including budgeting, reporting, and evaluation of the programs. According to officials, any savings in administrative costs can be reallocated to programs in future plan amendments.
Another $17 million will fund inter-mediate housing assistance to help people who still have bills for rent, relocation, and other support services
Grant assistance for the costs of recovery and mitigation planning will receive another $8 million.
Legal services - like title issues and legal challenges - are to receive $7 million, the same amount that’s been allocated for recovery counseling and housing services.
Portions of the $422 million in grant funds are available to anyone who lost a home or is still recovering from wildfire destruction in Lane, Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion counties.
The Homeowner Assistance and Reconstruction Program (HARP), is expected to begin in early 2023. It will first focus on fire survivors who are low or moderate-income and haven’t found a permanent home. People who’ve started to rebuild or have made a substantial down payment toward the purchase of a new manufactured home can receive help for remaining costs under the grant program,
More than 4,300 homes around the state were damaged or lost to the fires in 2020.
People should connect with a disaster case manager (DCM) to develop a plan and recovery goals that identify unmet needs. They work with survivors and provide services such as referrals for housing navigation, employment training and procurement, family stabilization resources, and mental/behavioral health connections. If survivors aren’t currently connected to a DCM, they should call the DCM hotline at 833-669-0554.
Officials say housing navigators are the best point of contact for recovery issues, including help with finding a new rental or accessing financial assistance to help rebuild or replace a home. Information is available at Re.Oregon.gov by clicking on “Assistance available now.”
People should collect the documents they will need to apply:
° Evidence of fire impact (type of home, proof of loss, household size)
° Income and bank statements (survivors will need their most recent documents at the time of application)
° Record any other benefits or recovery supports received, including insurance payments.
° Photo ID for all household members over the age of 18.