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Help For Low-Income Oregonians Who Lose Homes To Wildfires

Jereme Rauckman

Low-income Oregonians who’ve had their home destroyed by wildfires might be able to get financial help.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.  

Credit Jereme Rauckman / Flickr.com

Oregon Housing and Community Services says up to $7,000 in assistance can be provided to homeowners, if they qualify.  Ariel Nelson is the agency’s spokeswoman.  She shares one of the primary criteria:

“Your annual income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level," says Nelson.  "For a family of four, 200 percent of the federal poverty level is $49,200 for an annual income.  Apparently there’s some sort of environmental cleanup that needs to be done before a home can be actually rebuilt on the site, and so it’s to cover those costs.” 

The program – called the Wildfire Damage Housing Relief Account – was created by the Oregon Legislature in 2015.  It covers homes ranging from stick built to recreational vehicles…as long as it’s a primary residence.

People can visit the Oregon Housing and Community Services website to learn about eligibility.  Nelson says funds are limited.

Copyright 2017, KLCC. 

Copyright 2017 KLCC

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.