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FEMA Rental Assistance May Be A Valuable Housing Solution for Oregon Wildfire Survivors

Release Date Release Number
DR-4562-OR NR 16

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon residents displaced from their homes by wildfires and straight-line winds beginning Sept. 7 may find FEMA rental assistance an important way to move their recovery forward.

FEMA rental assistance provides survivors a grant to pay for somewhere to live while they work on permanent housing plans such as repairing or rebuilding their home. Options include renting an apartment, house, or recreational vehicle that can keep survivors near their jobs, schools, homes, and places of worship.

Funds can be used for security deposits, rent and the cost of essential utilities such as electricity, gas, and water. They may not be used for to pay for cable or Internet.

Survivors who live in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn or Marion county, should follow these steps if their home is uninhabitable and they need financial help to find a place to stay:

▪ File an insurance claim. If insured, survivors should check with their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance agent about additional living expenses coverage, often referred to as ALE, as part of their policy that may assist in relocating to a temporary residence.

▪ Apply for FEMA assistance. Survivors who have homeowner’s insurance should submit their settlement documents to FEMA for review to determine their eligibility status. If their policy does not include ALE, or if they exhaust this coverage and their home remains uninhabitable, they may be eligible for rental assistance from FEMA.

Apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov, by downloading the FEMA app or by calling the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. PDT, seven days a week. Those who use a Relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their assigned number for that service.

For the deaf and hard of hearing information regarding FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program is available in both Closed Caption and American Sign Language, visit bit.ly/3dMmu2Z.

At any time applicants with disabilities who may require a reasonable accommodation can ask FEMA staff directly or submit their accommodation request via email to FEMA’s Office of Civil Rights at FEMA-CivilRightsOffice@fema.dhs.gov or by calling FEMA’s Civil Rights Resource Line at 833-285-7448.

A FEMA inspector will contact applicants by phone to ask questions about the type and extent of damage. It may be necessary for FEMA to perform a remote inspection if an applicant reported they are not able to safely live in their home.

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Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621- 3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). Those who use a Relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their assigned number for that service. They should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number. Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish)

Disaster survivors affected by the Oregon wildfires and straight-line winds can also get personalized mitigation advice to repair and rebuild safer and stronger from a FEMA Mitigation Specialist. For information on how to rebuild safer and stronger or to inquire as to your new flood risk following a fire near you, email FEMA-R10-MIT@fema.dhs.gov, a FEMA Hazard Mitigation specialist will respond survivor inquiries.

Follow FEMA Region 10 on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest updates and visit FEMA.gov for more information. 

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Last updated October 22, 2020