MEDFORD, Ore. – Oregon is getting more federal help for communities continuing to rebuild after devastating wildfires tore through the state last year.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development is putting more than $422 million towards Oregon’s fire rebuilding efforts.
The initial announcement came on Saturday when Talent community leaders cut the ribbon for the “Talent Gateway Project.”
“Oregon cannot fully recover from the 2020 Labor Day wildfires without addressing underserved communities who have had difficulty rebuilding from natural disasters—especially after these fires flattened entire neighborhoods and towns,” Merkley said. “This substantial funding will help every community—regardless of race, income, or zip code—take critical steps to rebuild their homes, their communities, and their lives after experiencing such devastating loss.”
“The 2020 Labor Day wildfires cut a destructive path statewide, and the path back to a full recovery for Oregonians working to rebuild their lives from this disaster requires significant federal resources,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified this federal grant is heading to Oregon to support communities working to rebound from these blazes by responding to the tremendous need for assistance in every nook and cranny of our state.”
“Thanks to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, this allocation will go a long way to help those Oregonians who are still experiencing housing instability as a result of the 2020 wildfires,” said Margaret Salazar, executive director of Oregon Housing and Community Services. “We are grateful to our congressional delegation for elevating the needs of Oregonians and helping to secure the funding. Although the funds are not immediately available, we will begin working on an action plan to determine how the funds will be used once they are.”
Mary Ferrell, executive director of the Maslow Project, said this was nearly three times the amount that the Oregon Housing Stability Council was anticipating.
The money will go toward restoring housing and preventing future fires through mitigation in destroyed areas. Exact distribution methods have not yet been established.