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After Lawmakers' Appeal, FEMA Approves Housing Designation

David Yost

Last year’s wildfire victims have expanded housing assistance, following FEMA’s approval of Lane County’s request for a direct housing mission.

The approval means qualified county residents can access a range of temporary housing options for up to 18 months past the disaster declaration date, or March 15, 2022. This includes mobile units, direct lease, and multi-family lease and repair.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Lane County Commissioner Heather Buch.

Lane County Commissioner Heather Buch said this is especially vital for getting people to return to the McKenzie River Corridor, which saw significant devastation from the Holiday Farm Fire last September.

“They want to stay there, they want to be back in there," said Buch.  "They don’t necessarily want to be relocated permanently into the Eugene-Springfield metro center. And we want people to be able to rebuild in the community from which they’re from.”

FEMA had denied the request in November, but Representative Peter DeFazio led an appeal, joined by Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden.

Note: If you're an Oregon resident contending with wildfire recovery and rebuilding issues - or work with such invididuals - visit KLCC's contact page to share your situation with our news department. 

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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