New rent deadline, adjusted rates announced for 2020 wildfire survivors in FEMA housing

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Oregon Senior U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said rent for 2020 fire survivors who are living in FEMA temporary housing will not be due until May 1st.

In February, FEMA sent letters to survivors of the 2020 fires who are in direct temporary housing notifying them that they will pay “market rate” to continue staying in FEMA trailers, starting April 1st. 

Many of the survivors, mostly low-income, have not paid rent to FEMA since they moved in. But they were told they may need to pay $1,000 or more in rent.

Following his call with the FEMA administrator, Senator Wyden said the announcement that market-rate rent would be due April 1 was an error and the price will be lower than the market rate for families that can’t afford it.

“For Oregonians needing FEMA housing, the flames of the 2020 fires have been extinguished, but the road to recovery after the devastating fire remains a long and winding challenge,” said Wyden. “I made it very clear when I spoke with Administrator Criswell that fire survivors in Oregon need the proper time and support to afford their stay in temporary housing. I will continue to hold FEMA accountable to its commitment to a proactive rent adjustment process, prompt communication with state and local partners, as well as accessible outreach to multilingual families.”

Wyden’s office of the 179 families in temporary housing, 43 have started the rental agreement process, and five have qualified for the minimum rent of $50 per month.

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