MEDFORD, Ore. – As the trauma of last week’s Almeda Fire sets into the Rogue Valley, the people affected are looking towards the government for help. Particularly with limited housing options already an issue in Jackson County.
Rep. Greg Walden said since FEMA has made funds available people can sign up for assistance. He also says the state needs to step up and implement plans to help people.
“I would like to see the state of Oregon actually do a little more in Southern Oregon, have the governor come down there and take a look and bring her team with her,” said Rep. Walden.
He appeared on Fox Business Wednesday, saying Oregon controls the distribution of FEMA Relief Funding.
“We need help with housing on the ground. They’ve got the support, they’ve got the authority, they’ve got the money, we just need to step up the contact and communication,” said Rep. Walden.
The State says it’s created a task force to address housing. It’s partnering with FEMA and Oregon Housing and Community Services.
“We would expect that we’ll be accruing costs and working through reimbursements for years. This is going to be a very complicated long-term recovery operation. And it’s not gonna move as quickly as any of us would like it to,” said Oregon Office of Emergency Management Director, Andrew Phelps.
He said people needing immediate attention should visit disasterassistance.gov. But not everyone who lost their home will qualify for that assistance.
“We want to encourage Oregonians who are insured to utilize the maximum insurance benefits that they’re entitled. We’re working with state agencies and federal partners to ensure that happens,” said Phelps.
We also reached out to the Housing Authority of Jackson Co. Wednesday and Thursday, NBC5 is still waiting on a response.