FEMA approves county for housing solutions


The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved the addition of Lincoln County to its Direct Temporary Housing solutions program, which assists people whose homes were destroyed by wildfire. Previously approved counties include Jackson, Linn and Marion.

The FEMA housing mission in Oregon addresses the shortage of available housing in the designated four counties, providing a bridge to eligible applicants as they develop a long-term housing strategy.

The approval of Lincoln County comes after a thorough review of need and available data focusing on concentration of damages, lack of affordable housing, lack of available rental resources and the impact to survivors and their communities.

FEMA understands that housing resources are limited in some areas and is working closely with the state to implement a targeted strategy to provide other forms of temporary housing to best meet the needs of displaced fire victims. This may include providing transportable temporary housing units, which can be used for up to 18 months from the date of the disaster declaration (Sept. 15 through March 15, 2022) while survivors continue to work on their long-term housing plans.

Other components of Direct Temporary Housing solutions could include the following:

• Direct Lease — enables leasing of a property that would not generally be available to the public, such as corporate lodging to provide temporary housing for survivors.

• Multi-Family Lease and Repair — enables agreements with owners of existing multifamily rental housing (three or more available units) that, with financial assistance, could be quickly repaired to local, state and federal codes and standards and offered as temporary housing for FEMA applicants.

FEMA is identifying applicants who are eligible and contacting them about their possible participation in direct housing.

To be eligible for Direct Temporary Housing assistance, Oregon wildfire survivors must be registered with FEMA and reside in a county that has been designated for individual assistance and approved for direct temporary housing. Damage must be to the primary residence and must be a result of the wildfires.

Survivors’ continued eligibility for direct housing assistance will be evaluated regularly during occupancy. Applicants with access and functional needs will be prioritized for accessible transportable temporary housing units. If rental assistance or minor repair money enables a householder to return home, survivors may not be eligible for further housing assistance. Eligibility will be determined after survivors apply for assistance, which can be done by visiting disasterassistance.gov, checking the FEMA mobile app or calling 800-621-3362.

Direct Temporary Housing solutions are temporary in nature and are not permanent dwellings. The state and FEMA are coordinating with municipalities and counties regarding local ordinance requirements, zoning, transportation requirements, occupancy inspections, setbacks and more. They are also coordinating the temporary housing effort with floodplain managers, environmental regulators, historic preservation officers, utility providers and other authorities identified by the state or municipalities.

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