Oregon Housing and Community Services submitted an Action Plan for ReOregon to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on June 8. The ReOregon program will provide new resources to help survivors of the 2020 Labor Day Fires who have not yet been able to rebuild or find safe, affordable homes. The program will likely launch late this year or in early 2023.
The Oregon Housing Stability Council approved the Action Plan on June 3. OHCS expects to have approval of the plan from HUD in 60 to 90 days. The federal government appropriated funds to Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) in Fall 2021. The rules establishing the requirements to receive funding were not published until February of this year. OHCS will implement programs as soon as possible but will likely not be ready to accept and approve formal applications for home reconstruction until the first half of 2023.
The Action Plan describes how the state will spend $422 million of federal funding to support recovery from the 2020 Labor Day Fires in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion counties. The goal of the program is thatall fire-impacted individuals and households have equitable access to the resources necessary to be housed safely, sustainably, permanently, affordably and in their housing of choice. There are no proof of citizenship or residency requirements and OHCS will seek opportunities to partner with culturally specific, community-based organizations to support survivors through application and recovery processes.
The core elements of the plan, which were refined through extensive public engagement in fire-impacted areas in May, are:
- A housing replacement program for homeowners who lost homes to the fires.
- A new homeownership program for fire survivors who were renters and displaced by the fires.
- A fund to support local priority projects to build new infrastructure, carry out mitigation activities, or support economic revitalization.
Other ReOregon programs include intermediate housing assistance, housing recovery services, and recovery planning, as well as services of rent support, housing navigation, legal assistance and case management.
There are programs available today for low- and moderate-income fire survivors that can help more immediately. All survivors of the 2020 Labor Day Fires are strongly encouraged to enroll with a disaster case manager who can help survivors create a recovery plan tailored to their situation. The disaster case manager hotline is 833-669-0554.