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Frequently Asked Questions

ReOregon FAQs

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General (ReOregon)

Q. When will ReOregon programs be available?

A. The PIER program (Planning, Infrastructure, and Economic Revitalization grants for local governments) has begun. Local governments have begun working on project selection. The first housing program for survivor households could be open for applications 1st quarter of 2024, but timelines may change. Specifically, HARP (Homeowner Assistance and Reconstruction Program) Phase 1 will the first to open for applications and OHCS will also offer an eligibility questionnaire for other housing recovery needs. Future programs (to launch as soon as possible following HARP) include:

Q. Why isn’t there more money included in ReOregon for infrastructure?

A. Even though the ReOregon grant is large ($422 million), there are many unmet needs. OHCS made the decision to prioritize housing redevelopment. This is for several reasons.

  1. There are other ways to fund infrastructure.  
  2. Many of the infrastructure needs existed prior to the fire.   
  3. Re-allocating money to infrastructure will be easier than re-allocating money to housing.  

Therefore, OHCS made a large initial allocation to housing to make sure that sufficient resources were available and will consider moving some more funding to infrastructure in the future, if and when resources allow. Finally, the requirement that 70% of program spending benefit low- and moderate-income (LMI) households would be very difficult to meet without focusing most program funds on housing.

Q.  Why doesn’t OHCS just pass all this money to the counties to operate programs? 

A. Many parts of ReOregon programs will be carried out by local governments. For instance, projects under the PIER program will be both selected and carried out by local governments and nonprofits. OHCS also plans to make sub-allocations of funds for housing development to local governments and housing agencies. Most of the programs serving individuals, however, will be managed centrally. This decision was made primarily for two reasons:

  1. One centralized process will make sure that benefits for all survivor households will be determined in the same way; and
  2. There is a very significant administrative burden to carry out a CDBG-DR program in compliance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rules. Therefore, OHCS concluded it made more sense to build one system rather than seven or eight different programs to accomplish the same goals. 

Q. Can ReOregon programs assist households impacted by the 2021 Bootleg Fire in Klamath County? 

A. No. ReOregon is funded by the federal government and can only support recovery from the 2020 Labor Day fires and wind event. Because there was no Presidential Disaster Declaration for the 2021 Bootleg Fire, unfortunately, there is no federal funding to assist in recovery from that fire.

Q. Why isn’t more assistance available for higher-income households?

A. HUD (the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the program funder) requires that at least 70% of all program funds benefit LMI (low- or moderate-income) households. If OHCS can demonstrate to HUD that OHCS have served those LMI households and still have remaining funds, OHCS can request a waiver to allow more expenditures to benefit other households.

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HARP: Homeowner Assistance and Reconstruction Program

For more information on the Homeowner Assistance and Reconstruction Program, visit the HARP webpage.

Q. Who is eligible for assistance from the HARP program?

A. The HARP program can help fire survivors of the 2020 Labor Day fires in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion counties who owned a home that was their primary residence, which was damaged or destroyed by the 2020 fires. Phase 1 will serve households that are low- or moderate-income and have not yet completed their recovery, i.e., do not yet have permanent, safe housing.

Q. Are homes damaged by straight-line winds eligible for ReOregon assistance?

A. Yes, homes with straight-line wind damage are eligible. 

Q. Does the replacement or rebuilt home have to be in the burn scar (where the fires spread)? Or can people who purchased land outside those areas qualify?

A. HARP can fund construction anywhere in the counties impacted by the fires. However, if a survivor household decides to move to another county, HARP will only assist with the purchase of an existing home.

Q. What does low- or moderate-income (LMI) mean? 

A. Households, adjusted for family size, with income that is no greater than 80% of the area median income in their county.   

Q. Will the amount of HARP funding support be "tiered" by income amount? Will survivors above 80% area median income (AMI) be eligible for HARP funds? 

A. For Phase 1, survivors who are 80% AMI or below are eligible for HARP funds. However, there are hardship exceptions for those up to 100% AMI who have a considerable debt burden or are a member of the household with a disability that requires ongoing care or physical accommodations. 

In future phases depending on available funds, higher-income households may be eligible. (It is possible that they may be eligible for a smaller benefit.)  

Q. If a survivor’s last year of income included an insurance payment or a similar one-time payment, could this potentially disqualify them because it would make their income too high to qualify?

A. No. The program will verify the survivors’ current income, which does not include any one-time payments already received. (An insurance payment against the loss of a home in the fires would have to be contributed to the project, but it doesn’t change the current household income calculation.)

Q. When and how can survivors who have higher incomes be helped?

A. If funds are available, OHCS plans to assist more survivors in future phases of HARP. Survivors who already owe a lot due to their recovery process (i.e., have already borrowed a lot of money to cover rebuilding costs) or who have household members with significant and costly disabilities may be eligible in Phase 1. This includes disabilities that require ongoing care or physical accommodations such as wheelchair ramps or lower counters.

Q. For the HARP Phase 1 income eligibility maximum, is there an exception if an applicant’s income is just barely over the required low- to moderate-income level?

A. There is no exception for being very “slightly” over income. The only exceptions for the HARP Phase 1 income maximum are for heavily debt-burdened households (see below)) or those with disability exceptions.

Q. What kinds of debt and how much debt is required to qualify as debt-burdened? 

A. Households who are paying 30% or more of their total income on debt repayment (principal and/or interest). The program only considers medical debt or recovery debt. 

Q. Will survivors from the fires in Klamath County qualify for HARP?  

A. The HARP program is open to fire survivors from the 242 Fire. Only households impacted by presidentially declared disasters are eligible for assistance from CDBG-DR (the funding source for ReOregon).

Q. If there was a renter living with a HARP-eligible homeowner at the time of the fire, are they both eligible for HARP?  Who is eligible?

A. The homeowner would be eligible for HARP; the renter would be eligible for HOP.

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HARP Process

Q. What are the key steps of the HARP program?

A. After an application is complete, OHCS will review the eligibility of applicants. Once OHCS establishes eligibility, OHCS will determine what the award will be. For more details, please visit the HARP program page.

Q. Who should complete the eligibility questionnaire? Why do I need to complete a survey?

A. OHCS asks every household that still needs or wants assistance from ReOregon to complete the eligibility questionnaire. This includes survivors who may not be eligible for Phase 1 of HARP because they have completed rebuilding; survivors who were renters at the time of the disaster and may be eligible for the Homeowner Opportunities Program (HOP); and survivors whose income may be too high for Phase 1.

The initial eligibility questionnaire will help determine if survivors are eligible for the first phase of HARP.  Survivors who are not eligible for HARP in the first phase could be included in later phases if there are sufficient funds. Completing the eligibility questionnaire will help OHCS understand the remaining needs of survivors and design future phases. For instance, former renters who complete the eligibility questionnaire will help OHCS plan for housing development needed for the HOP program. 

Q. Is there a deadline to complete the eligibility questionnaire or apply?

A. No. Future phases may expand eligibility to more survivors, but OHCS will continue to allow those eligible for an earlier phase to apply. 

Q. What documents will be required to apply?

A. To meet the federal rules will require a lot of documents. Your local application support organization can help you understand which documents you need, find documents, scan documents, and upload them. OHCS understands this is a lot of work. There are some documents that OHCS is requesting at the point of application that may not be necessary to prove a survivor’s eligibility but will be needed to determine an award. OHCS encourages you to collect and submit as many documents as possible now. If you don’t have all the needed documents, OHCS will be able to work with you to consider alternatives in some cases.

Q. How and where can I apply?

A. Survivors will have multiple options to apply in the way that works best for them. If you’re comfortable with an online application, you can complete the application on a computer over the internet. If you don’t have internet access or are not comfortable with computers, you can go into a local office where members of your community will be available to assist you. Please check back for information on where to get help in your county. 

Please also sign up for email messages so OHCS can send you messages about hours and locations to get assistance.

If none of those options are practical for you, please call 833-604-0878. Leave a message with where you live and what your recovery needs are. OHCS will call you back when the applications are available and explain all your options.

Q. What if someone is behind on property taxes? Does that exclude them from HARP? Is there assistance for back taxes?

A. Survivors would be encouraged to go through the application process. They would eventually need to be up to date on property taxes or be on an approved repayment plan.

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HARP Benefits

Q. Can HARP pay to replace my basement?

A. HARP award maximums will be based on the livable, finished square footage of the home destroyed. Therefore, if the basement was finished, that will count toward what HARP can fund. However, due to complications that underground construction would add (e.g., environmental review, radon concerns, and other issues), HARP will not fund the construction of basements. Unfinished basements will be treated similarly to outbuildings; HARP will not be funding the replacement of outbuildings or unfinished basements.

Q. Can I pick my own contractor or will OHCS be doing that?    

A. Participants will select contractors. ReOregon can provide beneficiaries with construction advisory services to assist with that process.

Q. For manufactured homes, will there be an age limit for the structure?

A. In effect, yes, due to energy efficiency and other requirements. Generally speaking, program limits should allow the purchase of new units.

Q. A survivor purchased an older manufactured home that doesn’t meet energy standards. Are they eligible to purchase a new home?

A. Homes must meet HUD’s Housing Quality Standards. Projects will undergo a reasonable-cost analysis. It may be more reasonable to purchase a new manufactured home to replace the existing home. 

Q. Can HARP be used after a home buying process has begun?  

A. Yes. HARP can help complete a purchase.

Q. Can HARP pay for set-up fees if that’s all that is left after a new manufactured home is purchased?  

A. Yes. HARP can fund the necessary program-approved site improvements (e.g., pad installation, utilities, elevation) . 

Q. If a survivor was able to replace their home but that home needs repairs or improvements, can HARP help?

A. Yes. If an eligible household has a new home that’s not safe or healthy, HARP can pay for repairs or improvements needed to make the home a safe place to live. Homes will be evaluated against HUD’s Housing Quality Standards.

Q. If the only issue I have remaining to complete my recovery is hazard trees (dead or damaged trees that are a danger to people or my property), can HARP help me?

A. Yes.

Q. What are the award amounts to replace a manufactured home?

A. The award maximum is based on the size and type of unit that was lost. Applicants who were in a home that was too small to live safely and comfortably may be eligible for a larger unit.

  • Award cap: single-wide: $100,000; double-wide: $185,000

Impacted residents shouldn’t plan on receiving the maximum award, as actual awards will be based on unmet need and include a duplication of benefits review. Site improvements such as building a pad or other improvements such as a carport (if required by the park) do not count against the award maximum.

Q. What is the award maximum for a stick-built or site-built home?

A. The maximum will be based on the lost home’s square footage. The program will pay for a maximum of $155 per square foot to replace the home. Site improvements such as repairing or replacing water lines or septic systems don’t count against the cap.  

Please note: OHCS is aware that construction costs in remote rural areas of the state can be higher. OHCS will provide a process by which an adjustment to the award cap can be made in those situations.

Impacted residents shouldn’t plan on receiving the maximum award, as actual awards will be based on unmet need and include a duplication of benefits review.

Q. The award maximum for site-built (or “stick-built”) homes is $155 per square foot. Is that number final? That amount appears low when compared with actual building costs. Will there be exceptions made to allow for more dollars per square foot? 

A. Yes, the program will be able to provide exceptions in such cases where needed. OHCS has not yet identified the exact method to choose an alternative price per square foot for areas with higher construction costs, such as remote rural areas. 

Q. Can HARP pay to reimburse a loan or mortgage that I took out to recover?  

A. Phase 1 of HARP doesn’t allow for reimbursement of prior costs. OHCS is prioritizing households that haven’t yet recovered. If you’ve taken a loan or mortgage to recover that is a severe financial burden, or if you’ve had to spend much of your retirement savings to recover, you may be eligible for a future phase of HARP. Please complete the program eligibility questionnaire to help us decide if ReOregon has enough money to fund a reimbursement phase.

Q. Can HARP pay to refund an SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) Disaster Loan?   

A. No. Phase 1 doesn’t allow "reimbursement" of prior costs, so it won’t repay any loan. See above.

In addition, SBA loans are sometimes considered a "benefit" for duplication of benefit purposes. So, when and if OHCS can provide a reimbursement benefit, OHCS will review FEMA policy to determine if SBA loans could be repaid.  

Q. Can HARP assist with the cost of disposal of a temporary housing unit (THU) or other temporary housing solution that’s now a liability?

A. Yes, in some cases. Program award calculation would likely begin with analyzing if a repair meets a reasonable-cost review. If repair isn’t feasible and the unit is a liability, decommissioning the unit could be part of the project. OHCS also offers a manufactured home decommissioning grant program that could also address this need.  

Q. Under what conditions can HARP fund a replacement home that’s larger than the lost home due to crowding?

A. New homes will provide at least one bedroom for every two household members. Children of the opposite sex or gender identity wouldn’t be required to share a bedroom.

Q. What if there’s a limited supply of single-wide manufactured homes? Would the program fund a double-wide?

A. Generally, no. OHCS anticipates that many HARP participants will have to order new units and there are some manufacturers that do still build single-wide manufactured home models. 

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HARP ADU Pilot Program

Q. What is an ADU?

A. Accessory dwelling Units (ADUs) are second homes located on the same lot as another home. ADUs can be additions to existing or reconstructed homes (“internal” or “attached” ADUs) or standalone structures (“detached” ADUs).

Q. Who can receive an ADU from the Pilot Program under HARP?   

A. Survivors who qualify for HARP, have a lot that is large enough for an ADU, and are willing to commit to renting that unit at an affordable rate to low or moderate-income residents who may be eligible to receive an ADU. The benefit will be subject to a reasonable-cost evaluation. For instance, if the property would require a lot of work such as relocating a driveway or an elevated structure to keep the ADU out of the floodplain, it may not be approved. If you’re interested in the ADU pilot, the first step you should take is to contact your local city or county planning department to find out if your local zoning rules allow an ADU on your property and what the requirements are.

Q. For the ADU program, how will the program monitor compliance with the requirement to rent the unit below market rate to low- to moderate-income renters for eight years?

A. The grant agreement will specify requirements to provide evidence of compliance upon request. 

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Legal Services

Q. What kind of legal services can ReOregon help with?

A. This program is still being defined. Generally, the services will be those needed to complete recovery.  The types of services are likely to include: 

  • Replacing identification papers.  
  • Working through insurance claims.  
  • Clearing property titles and working through heirship and probate.  
  • Fighting unlawful evictions and foreclosures.  
  • Combating contractor scams and fraud.  
  • Assistance with school transfers. 

Q. How do I access legal services?

A. Your local disaster case manager or the ReOregon program case manager will be able to connect you to legal services.  

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Duplication of Benefits (DOB)

Q. What is a duplication of benefits (DOB)?

A. Under federal law, OHCS is not allowed to pay for a recovery need that has already been funded by another source. If the other payment only covered part of the recovery need, OHCS can pay the remaining costs.  

Q. What funding sources would be a DOB for HARP?   

A. Any public or private payment (grant or subsidized loan) intended to pay for the replacement of the lost home could count as a DOB. This includes insurance payments (for home replacement), FEMA structural damage awards, and philanthropic grants from a long-term recovery group or United Way—if they were given to help rebuild or replace the lost home. Any gifts from friends or family aren’t a potential DOB. 

Q. Are Wildfire Resilience and Recovery Assistance (WRRA) grants considered a DOB for the HARP program?

A. Any WRRA award for home replacement would count as a DOB against a HARP award. Therefore, it will have to be contributed to the project. 

Q. Will prior FEMA- or WRRA-funded rental assistance be counted against the cap for rental assistance under the Intermediate Housing Assistance (IHA) program?

A. Temporary rental assistance from either FEMA or WRRA would be a duplication of benefits against IHA only if it were paying for housing for the same period. They also don’t count “against” the length cap in IHA.

Q. Is HARP/ReOregon being layered with the Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) incentives and rebates, Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) home hardening grants, or Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) energy-efficiency grants?

A. HARP could be combined with any of those incentives, but benefits from those other programs that pay for HARP-eligible costs would likely be a duplication of benefits.  

Q. What happens if parents filed for FEMA benefits under the name of a minor child but now the minor child is an adult, has recovered on their own, and parents still need assistance? Will they qualify for ReOregon?

A. If a family applied for FEMA benefits under the name of their minor child, but the minor child wasn’t on the damaged home’s title, the parents would be able to apply as owners of the property. The benefits provided to the adult child, who is no longer a member of the household, wouldn’t count as a duplication of benefits. 

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Environmental Review (ER) and “Stop Work” Notice

Q. What is an environmental review?  

A. An environmental review is the process of reviewing a project and its potential impacts to determine whether it meets federal, state, and local environmental standards. The environmental review process is required for all HUD-assisted projects to ensure that the proposed project doesn’t negatively impact the surrounding environment and that the property site itself won’t harm residents or users. Not every project is subject to a full environmental review (i.e., every project's environmental impact must be examined, but the extent of this examination varies), but every project must comply with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and other related federal and state environmental laws. For more information, visit the HUD website.  

Q. If I already had a local environmental review from my city or county, does the project still need to go through an environmental review?

A. Yes. Only a formal environmental review by another federal agency can substitute for the HUD-required review.  

Q. Does an environmental review include any kind of “cultural review”?

A. Yes, if the project will include digging or similar activities. Environmental review includes at a minimum a consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to see if the site is culturally sensitive or likely to contain culturally significant artifacts

Q. Will my property be surveyed for cultural artifacts? If important cultural artifacts are found on my property, will that prevent ReOregon from helping with my rebuild?

A. Typically, there won’t be any physical survey. If the location is deemed to be sensitive or likely to contain artifacts, contractors would be required to have a plan to avoid disturbing any artifacts they may discover. If the site is very sensitive, a trained archeologist may be required to be present on-site during any excavation. (This is a cost the program would cover) If there is a discovery, it could potentially require a pause in work or other mitigation. This would not disqualify the survivor from benefits. However, all awards are subject to a reasonable-cost review. In the event there are significant additional costs due to the presence of cultural or historic artifacts, the program may need to work with the applicant to find an alternative solution, such as rebuilding in another area. 

Q. When would the program require a household to leave a home? 

A. Because the homeowners are contracting directly with their builders/contractors, this is something that would be negotiated with their builder in most cases. OHCS likely wouldn’t require anything beyond what the contractor requires, unless a local building official or similar authority determined it wasn’t safe to remain on-site. In cases where leaving the property is the best option, ReOregon can pay for temporary housing for the household.

Q. Can I rebuild in a floodplain? 

A. ReOregon cannot fund any construction in a floodway, but construction in a floodplain is allowed if all living areas will be at least 2 feet above the “base flood elevation.” The additional cost to elevate a structure is an eligible program cost, but in some cases, OHCS may determine that another course of action is a more cost-reasonable approach.     (Source:

Q. Is there an exception process to allow construction that is 2 feet above Base Flood Elevation (BFE)?

A. Yes, if an applicant has already initiated reconstruction and has progressed beyond the foundation stage, they may not be required to elevate to the program-required 3 feet above BFE. 

Q. Why would an applicant have to “stop work”? What does stop work mean?

A. All applicants are required to stop any repair, reconstruction, or replacement activities they are conducting on their damaged property if OHCS notifies you to do so. If issued, the stop work notice must be followed until the environmental review process is completed. The federally required environmental review is the process of reviewing a project and its potential environmental impact to determine whether it meets federal, state, and local environmental standards. Once you indicate you are planning to use federal funds for a project, you can’t take any choice-limiting actions. Regular maintenance activities may be allowed to continue even if a stop work notice has been provided. 

Q. How is a "stop work” order monitored and enforced?  

A. OHCS representatives will include inspectors who may visit sites and/or interview contractors. Failure to comply with the stop work order could result in the beneficiary being excluded from the program. Stop work begins as soon as an application is submitted. It will vary depending on complications at a specific site. Some level of environmental review will take place for all projects.  

Q. What is the expected stop work time frame for environmental review? Is it weeks or months? 

A. It depends on multiple factors, including what inspections will be required, the type of construction (e.g., a new footprint or within the previous footprint), site factors (e.g., the presence of wetlands), and which documentation survivors may already have. In the most straightforward cases, environmental review could be completed in a matter of weeks, but many projects will require more time. 

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Exceptions and Appeals 

Q. What can I do if I disagree with an eligibility decision or award amount?  

A. You may appeal the following types of decisions made by the program:

  • Program eligibility  
  • Grant award calculation, prior to execution of the grant agreement   
  • Cost estimates, for repairs or reconstruction, limited to measurements of the home and/or quantities of damaged materials only   
  • Duplication of benefits   
  • File closure   

All appeals must be submitted in writing to the program within 30 calendar days of the decision (defined as either the date of notification by electronic means or the certified mail delivery date). Applicants may submit appeals via email, the program’s website, or U.S. mail.

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Q. Can you explain more about disaster management at the local level and how it’s connected to disaster recovery?

A. Local disaster managers are typically not directly involved in recovery work for individuals. They are being included in discussions about the ReOregon Planning Infrastructure and Economic Revitalization (PIER) program.   

Q. What percentage of Almeda Fire survivors fall into the "owner of primary residence pre-fire" category?

A. “Owner of primary residence” includes owners of manufactured homes. Based on the census data for the area impacted, it appears that most households were homeowners at the time of the fire. 

Q. Will ReOregon benefits be subject to federal taxes?

A. According to the Internal Revenue Service, qualified disaster relief payments related to federally declared disasters are not taxable income unless they’re reimbursing a loss that was previously taken as a deduction from income.   

It’s common practice to issue a 1099 form to beneficiaries. Just because you received a 1099 doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be reported as taxable income. 

If a taxpayer previously took a deduction from income taxes based on the loss of their home, the portion of a home replacement benefit that was deducted previously may be taxable. 

"If you later receive a . . . reimbursement . . .  after you have claimed a deduction for the loss, you may have to include the extra reimbursement amount in your income for the year you receive it. However, if any part of the original deduction didn’t reduce your tax for the earlier year, don’t include that part of the reimbursement amount in your income." 
Source: “Actual reimbursement more than expected” Section of IRS Publication 547 (2022), “Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts,”

A home replacement benefit can also impact a future capital gains calculation. This is most likely if the amount of the award was greater than the value of what was destroyed. (Many homeowners don’t have to pay any capital gains tax on the sale of their primary residence due to the exclusion to capital gains tax available on the sale of a “main home.” To learn more about how capital gains on sales of homes are taxed, read IRS Publication 523, “Selling Your Home,” at Publication 523 (2022), Selling Your Home.

Qualified disaster relief payments definition:

"Qualified disaster relief payments aren’t included in the income of individuals to the extent any expenses compensated by these payments aren’t otherwise compensated for by insurance or other reimbursement. These payments aren’t subject to income tax, self-employment tax, or employment taxes (social security, Medicare, and federal unemployment taxes). No withholding applies to these payments.

Qualified disaster relief payments include payments you receive (regardless of the source) for the following expenses.

  • Reasonable and necessary personal, family, living, or funeral expenses incurred as a result of a federally declared disaster.
  • Reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the repair or rehabilitation of a personal residence due to a federally declared disaster. (A personal residence can be a rented residence or one you own.) 
  • Reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the repair or replacement of the contents of a personal residence due to a federally declared disaster. 

Qualified disaster relief payments also include amounts paid to individuals affected by the disaster by a federal, state, or local government in connection with a federally declared disaster. These payments must be made from a governmental fund, be based on individual or family needs, and not be compensation for services. Payments to businesses generally don’t qualify."

[Source: “Disaster Relief” Section of IRS Publication 547 (2022), “Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts”.

Award recipients should talk to an accountant or tax adviser if they have any concerns.   

For HOP awards more specifically, participants may want to review HUD and IRS guidance (4681). Structured forgivable mortgages forgiven over a specified period of time are typically not taxable.

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For more information on the PIER program, visit our webpage.

Eligible Entities

Q. Can any nonprofit apply to be a project lead?

A. OHCS will be issuing revised program guidelines that will clarify that any nonprofit may apply as a project lead for economic revitalization or mitigation projects. Use of a nonprofit sub-grantee or private sector contractors (when procured in compliance with federal procurement rules) is an acceptable method to execute any PIER project.

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Public Notice, Meetings, and Recording Requirements 

Q. How must the public be notified of a HUD-required public hearing?

A. See the policy guidelines (Section 2.1.3): “Notification of all hearings shall be given a minimum of five full days (actually, seven days, as the day of the notice and the day of the hearing cannot be counted as one of the five full days) in advance to allow citizens the opportunity to schedule their attendance. Notification shall be in the form of display advertisements in the local newspaper with the greatest distribution, and/or by posting letters, flyers, and any other forms that are clearly documented with wide circulation.” 

Q. When can the HUD-required public hearing happen? Who can hold the public hearing?

A. The public hearing could be held by a project lead before or after project submission to the selection committee. Alternatively, the selection committee meeting itself—if conducted according to the HUD requirements (appropriately noticed and including all required components) —at the time of project selection can fulfill the requirement. In any case, the record of the relevant public hearing must be submitted to OHCS with the Project Description Form.

Q. Must the HUD-required public hearing be a public hearing as defined under Oregon Land Use law?

A. No

Q. Must selection committee meetings comply with Oregon public meetings law? 

A. Given that the recommendation of the selection committee is a key factor in the allocation of public monies, OHCS suggests that Oregon Public Meeting law practices be followed. At a minimum, the public notice, record keeping, and public access requirements for a public meeting should be met for any meeting of the selection committee that makes a final decision on projects to recommend for funding. For more details on Oregon public meeting law, visit: 

Q. Who will provide the notice for public selection committee meetings?

A. The responsibility for issuing public notices falls on the entity conducting the meeting or taking the action. OHCS recommends that one or more of the local government partners use their regular method for announcing public meetings. OHCS can assist with the notice by sending a message to OHCS distribution lists.  

Q. Does a public hearing require minutes? 

A. Yes. Oregon public meeting law requires minutes to be taken to document the proceedings. OHCS can make the minutes available to the public through the OHCS website. 

Q. Can the meeting be hybrid (i.e., partially online and partially in-person) or entirely virtual?

A. Yes

Q. Is the state providing the technology for conducting hybrid meetings or should we use the county's resources?

A. OHCS can host such sessions but will not be providing the physical technology.  

Q. Are there funds to pay local government staff for organizing selection committee meetings?

A. OHCS is not providing funds specifically for public meetings but has staff available to assist and reduce the burden on local partners. 

Q. Where are minutes required to be posted?

A. The requirement for posting meeting minutes may vary depending on local laws and regulations. In some cases, there may be specific guidelines regarding where the minutes should be posted. OHCS will post and store recorded minutes on the PIER website when completed.

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Selection Committee

Q. If representatives of a Tribe opt out of being on the selection committee, is that okay? 

A.  Yes. OHCS requires that impacted Tribes are given the option to participate on the committee. 

Q. If an economic development district (EDD) has a county commissioner on their board, can that commissioner serve as the representative of the EDD?   

A. No. The logic behind the selection committee is to have multiple voices and perspectives represented. 

Q. What types of organizations could serve as substitutes for the EDD?

A. Part of the intent of the requirement is that the selection committee include someone with economic development experience/expertise who can provide input on any economic revitalization proposals, even if they haven’t been heavily involved in wildfire recovery. Most local economic development entities with experienced staff or board members could serve on the selection committee in place of the formally recognized EDD.   

Q. What are “general-purpose” local governments? Would that not include special districts like fire and/or water districts?  

A. General purpose governments are any city or county directly impacted by the fire but don’t include special districts.

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Project Description Forms

Q. Can the selection committee customize the Project Description Form?

A.  Yes. The selection committee can include additional questions you wish to address any selection criteria the committee may adopt. Please append additional questions as a separate form.   

Q. Must project leads complete all elements of the Project Description Form prior to submitting to the selection committee? 

A. The project selection questions can only be completed after the selection committee has evaluated and selected projects, therefore it cannot be completed by the project lead prior to the selection committee review. The public hearing/citizen participation documentation could be completed prior to submitting to the selection committee, but the selection committee could receive and consider the application without that documentation.  

Q. For projects that could fit in both infrastructure and economic revitalization (ER) categories (e.g., a business incubator might be considered a public facility in HUD terminology?), should the applicant use the ER or infrastructure form?

A. A business incubator or similar project should use the ER form. When the national objective is LMI job creation/retention or LMI Limited Clientele (Microenterprises), please be sure to provide a detailed cost estimate. 

For projects that are focused on supporting the recovery of a downtown commercial corridor through replacement or improvement of what meets the more typical/narrow definition of infrastructure, such as a streetscape or sidewalk project:  

  • When the national objective is LMI job creation/retention or LMI Limited Clientele (Microenterprises), please use the ER form and provide a detailed cost estimate.  
  • When the national objective is Urgent Need or LMI Area Benefit, please use the infrastructure form.

Q. Is there a separate application form for mitigation? 

A. No. We didn’t create a separate form. We anticipate most, if not all, mitigation projects have an infrastructure or planning element to them. If the project will result in physical activity (i.e., projects that construct, dig, or manage vegetation), please use the infrastructure form. 

Q. Do selection committees need to request additional documentation regarding how or if the project addresses protected classes or underserved communities?

A. No. The project description form requests all required documentation. Please note the Project Selection record must include a record of how the selection committee considered this topic.  

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Q. As a public entity, will subrecipients need to adhere to both state rules and guidelines (such as Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI)-established prevailing wages) on top of the federal guidelines (like Davis Bacon prevailing wage requirements)?  

A.  The grant agreement will spell out explicitly which federal rules and statutes apply. Generally speaking, complying with federal requirements will NOT eliminate the need for subrecipients to comply with applicable state laws. (You can expect the federal Davis Bacon requirements to be something like: Labor Standards Clause, where subrecipient shall comply with the labor standards in Section 110 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, and ensure that all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors in the performance of construction work financed in whole or in part with assistance received under the Agreement shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on similar construction in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with the Davis Bacon Act, as amended (40 U.S.C. 3141 et seq.), and 29 C.F.R. Parts 1, 3, 5, 6, and 7, provided that this requirement shall apply to the rehabilitation of residential property only if such property contains not less than eight (8) units.) 

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Q. Is there a deadline date that funds must be expended by?

A. The project description form requires the attachment of a project schedule. The termination date of the grant agreement will be based on the schedule provided. Applicants should expect to complete projects no later than mid-2028. (The overall CDBG-DR program must be closed out no more than six years from grant agreement, i.e., February 2029.)

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Eligible Projects

Q. What kinds of projects are included or allowable as infrastructure projects?  

A. The applicable federal statute is quite broad and allows for “Acquisition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or installation of public facilities and improvements, [except] [b]buildings or portions thereof, used for the general conduct of government.” []

HUD has described these terms in more detail as follows:  

"Examples of public facilities include centers for seniors, persons with disabilities, youth, and childcare centers, community centers, homeless shelters, housing for people with special needs, libraries, health clinics, and neighborhood fire stations. Parks and recreational facilities are also public facilities as are buildings owned by nonprofit organizations that serve the public. 

'Improvements' in the phrase Public Facilities and Improvements are often referred to as infrastructure projects by state and local governments. A few examples include streets and sidewalks, water and sewer improvements, utility lines, flood and drainage systems, and tree planting. Such improvements can also include public art installations and aesthetic improvements like decorative street lighting, benches, and planters."  

Other possible public facilities and infrastructure examples include: 

  • Parks  
  • Program facilities (e.g., for job training or business incubation)  
  • Broadband 

Any public improvement or facility funded under PIER must either (A) have a “tie-back” to the 2020 disasters (i.e., a clear connection between the use of the facility and a recovery need); or (B) serve a mitigation function (i.e., would reduce the loss of life and/or property in the case of a future disaster).

Q. Is inventory loss of a business an eligible use of PIER dollars?

A. Once CDBG-DR (ReOregon) dollars are in a private business’s hands, either through a loan or grant, the allowable use of funds becomes pretty flexible, see: “For-Profit Business Activities” on page 77: 

Q. Can a for-profit business apply for PIER funding directly?

A. No. A private for-profit business cannot apply directly for PIER funding. However, there are at least a few avenues when funding new construction or remodeling for a business incubator could proceed: 

  1. If you were to form a nonprofit entity, that entity could apply directly for an Economic Revitalization project. 
  2. An Economic Development District could apply for PIER funding to create a business assistance fund. Depending upon how the program is structured would dictate the acceptable uses.

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