Oregon to Receive Over $422 Million For Wildfire Housing Needs

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Nov. 1 announced it is approving the allocation of more than $422 million to Oregon in supplemental disaster assistance for housing recovery. The allocation for Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) and Mitigation (CDBG-MIT), a first for Oregon, will address long-term unmet recovery needs from the 2020 Labor Day wildfires.

“We appreciate the strong leadership from our congressional delegation to help ensure the needs of Oregonians are elevated,” said OHCS Director Margaret Salazar. “We’d also like to thank the Oregon Legislature for allocating $150 million to OHCS for partnerships to provide housing and resources for those most in need. With these new federal resources, we can take bold action to expand on these efforts.”

The federal funding is part of $5 billion that Congress appropriated for disaster relief last month. CDBG-DR programfunds are used to help those most impacted, especially low-income residents needing housing recovery assistance, to recover from presidentially declared disasters. CDBG-MIT funds are used to assess risks in affected communities and help make them more resilient to current and future risks.

While the announcement reveals how much Oregon will get in these supplemental recovery grants, the state must still complete several tasks before it actually receives the money. The state still needs to wait for HUD to publish the Federal Register, which will outline the process and the timeline to satisfy HUD requirements to receive the funds. The state also will need to conduct an Unmet and Needs Assessment and develop an Action Plan that identifies how the state will use CDBG-DR and CDBG-MIT funds to address unmet disaster recovery and mitigation needs. 

When the Federal Register is published, eligible recovery activities and program requirements will be outlined. Community participation is encouraged throughout the whole CDBG-DR grant process. The state is required to develop a Citizen Participation Plan that describes how the public will be informed and engaged throughout the grant’s lifecycle. Before the action plan is finalized, the public will be invited to review and submit feedback on a draft plan.