In November 2021, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it was awarding Oregon $422 million in
Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds for recovery efforts in response to the 2020 Labor Day Fires and Straight-line Winds (2020 fires). Administered by Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS), this money will pay for new programs to help individuals, households, and communities continue to recover. This effort, which is called ReOregon, will provide new permanent housing in the areas most impacted by the fires. The
Federal Register notice outlining the steps required to access the funds followed in February 2022.
Assistance available now for wildfire recovery
On Sept. 30, 2022, HUD approved Oregon Housing and Community Services' ReOregon Action Plan, which describes how the state will spend the funds to support recovery in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion counties. The goal of the program is that all fire-impacted individuals and households have equitable access to the resources necessary to be housed safely, sustainably, permanently, affordably, and in their housing of choice.
OHCS received and executed a grant agreement based on the approved Action Plan in February 2023.
The Action Plan was written with an explicit concern for—and implementation will be guided by—the particular needs of the many members of the Latino/a/e community of Jackson County who have suffered many of the greatest impacts of this disaster and face particular hurdles in recovery. There are no citizenship or residency requirements for ReOregon programs and OHCS will seek opportunities to partner with (and fund) culturally specific, community-based organizations to support survivors through application and recovery processes.
The core elements of the plan, which were refined through extensive public engagement in fire-impacted areas in May 2022, are:
- A housing replacement program for homeowners who lost homes to the fires. The Homeowner Assistance & Reconstruction Program (HARP) is planned for launch later this year.
More information is available below.
- A new homeownership program for fire survivors who were renters and displaced by the fires. OHCS is still working on the details of this program but is asking former renters to complete the forthcoming HARP eligibility survey to help us understand their needs.
- A fund to support local priority projects to build new infrastructure, carry out mitigation activities to prepare for future disasters, or support economic revitalization. Planning, Infrastructure, & Economic Revitalization (PIER) program projects will be selected and managed by local governments and other key stakeholder organizations.
Other ReOregon programs include Intermediate Housing Assistance, Housing Recovery Services, and Legal Services. No less than 15% of program funds must be spent on mitigation activities, such as building homes that are resistant to fire or other natural disasters. HUD requires that ReOregon as a whole make sure that at least 70% of program funds benefit low- and moderate-income (LMI) survivors.
This website is under construction and OHCS will be posting much more extensive information on programs in the near future, including how to apply for programs as they become available. To receive email updates, please
ReOregon Program Allocation
|Program||$ Allocation||% of Total||Est. % to Mitigation Activities||Est. % to Benefit Low and Moderate Income|
|Homeowner Assistance and Reconstruction Program||$204,597,567||48.5%||80%||85%|
|Homeownership Opportunities Program||$119,348,581||28.3%||80%||85%|
|Intermediate Housing Assistance||$20,073,231||4.8%||0%||85%|
|Planning, Infrastructure Economic Revitalization Program||$42,117,170||10.0%||100%||25%|
|Housing and Recovery Services||$6,017,576||1.4%||0%||95%|
|Resilience Planning Program||$3,000,000||0.7%||100%||N/A|
|% OF TOTAL:||100%||100%||77%||79%|
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Homeowner Assistance and Reconstruction Program (HARP)
HARP will help eligible homeowners impacted by the 2020 fires rebuild, repair, or replace their home.
There is no citizenship or residency status requirement.
OHCS will begin accepting applications later this year. The goal is to open applications in late spring, but significant work to prepare for that launch remains to be completed.
To qualify for any phase of HARP, a homeowner’s primary residence must have been destroyed or damaged by one the 2020 Labor Day Oregon fires or associated wind events (e.g., Almeda, Archie Creek Beachie Creek, Echo Mountain, Holiday Farm, Lionshead, Riverside, South Obenchain, or Two Four Two.)
To be eligible for HARP Phase 1, a homeowner must also have a remaining need and qualify as low- or moderate- income (LMI). The standards for low- or moderate-income are below. The amounts are updated annually. Households with very high debt burdens due to recovery costs and those with a household member with a significant disability may also be considered for Phase 1.
Fiscal Year 2022 Low- and Moderate-Income Limit (80% of median income)
|County||1 Person||2 Person||3 Person||4 Person||5 Person||6 Person||7 Person||8 Person|
|Lincoln or Douglas||$42,600||$48,650||$54,750||$60,800||$65,700||$70,550||$75,400||$80,300|
Source: HUD -
No reimbursements in Phase 1
HARP Phase 1 is for income-qualified homeowners who haven’t been able to re-establish safe, healthy, permanent housing. If sufficient funds remain, Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) may consider allowing reimbursement requests as part of a later phase. Former homeowners who have completed their recovery and still need assistance (e.g., retirees who now face unsupportable mortgages or households that have had to spend much of their retirement savings) are still encouraged to complete the eligibility questionnaire for Phase 1. This will help us design any future reimbursement phase, if possible.
Who should apply for Phase 1?
Please complete the eligibility questionnaire linked to the application even if you don’t expect to qualify for Phase 1 or were a renter at the time of the disaster. This will help OHCS design any future phases if sufficient funds remain. Households that are likely to be eligible for Phase 1 will be invited to apply after completing the eligibility questionnaire.
For homeowners: Depending on funds available, future phases of HARP may expand eligibility to higher-income households. The income limit is also updated annually.
For renters: ReOregon will develop affordable homeownership opportunities for fire survivors who were renters.
Types of assistance (Not All Types of Assistance May be Available Immediately in Phase 1)
Rebuilding a home: HARP can pay for the reconstruction of a site-built (“stick built”) home, whether the rebuild has already started or not. The homeowner will select and manage their own contractor and the program can make payments based on progress directly to the contractor. Under HARP, ReOregon can provide construction advisory services. Through another program, still under development, ReOregon can also fund legal services to support survivors with a variety of needs.
- Please note: Projects already underway will have to pause construction at the time of application to allow the completion of project scope and environmental review. Participants can make
New manufactured/modular home: If a survivor needs to replace a manufactured home, the program can work with a participant to help them buy a new manufactured home (where feasible and based on site limitations, modular homes may be an option). If a survivor has already committed to the purchase of a new manufactured home, the program can help pay for the remaining eligible costs, up to the award maximum. In either case, the program can fund costs to place/install the new home, including most “park package” costs and similar required expenses.
Size of replacement homes: The program will fund replacement of like-for-like homes, i.e., similar size and number of bedrooms. Subject to benefit maximums, program participants who can fund the difference could replace a lost home with a larger or different type of home. (OHCS may make exceptions to fund a larger replacement home in cases where the destroyed home was too small for the number of household members living there.)
Accessory Dwelling Unit Pilot Program: HARP can also help impacted homeowners build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), if allowed under local zoning. In exchange, homeowners must agree to rent the unit at affordable rates for at least eight years to low- or moderate-income households. (An ADU is typically a smaller one- or two-bedroom home that would be rented to another household on the same lot as the primary residence.)
Repairs to address health and safety issues: HARP can help with other issues as well. For example, HARP can help homeowners who may have a safety or health concern about a replacement home they purchased. This could be any problem that makes the home unsafe or unhealthy to live in or is “substandard.” This would include issues such as mold, problems with the roof, large gaps around windows, or hazardous trees that threaten their home. In some cases, a cost analysis may conclude that replacing an unsafe home may be the best course of action.
The program has a maximum benefit value for the home replacement. For site-built homes, it is based on the square footage of the home that was lost in the fire; for manufactured homes it is be based on whether the lost home was a singlewide or a doublewide. Site costs (such as well or septic repairs) or park costs (such as delivery or required skirting or a carport) don’t count against the award maximums. The award maximums are:
- Single-family site-built residences: Up to $155 per square foot (maximum of 2,000 square feet)
- Manufactured homes:
- Singlewide: $100,000
- Doublewide: $185,000
Duplication of Benefits
Homeowners must contribute any benefits or awards that were provided specifically to help with permanent housing repair, reconstruction, or replacement. This includes insurance payments received for home replacement or reconstruction, any FEMA structural loss award, or any other recovery benefits provided to help with permanent housing repair, reconstruction, or replacement.
In cases where homeowners received such a benefit, but it is no longer available to contribute to the ReOregon project, program staff may be able to resolve a duplication of benefits by providing an applicant a smaller home (a “scope reduction”). Applicants may use other private sources of funding (such as an unsubsidized loan) to contribute an equivalent amount. However, an additional grant or award (from an “Unmet Needs Table,” for example) would not resolve the duplication of benefit.
The duplication of benefits requirement is primarily to protect program participants. The federal government can require repayment of a duplicate benefit if it is discovered later.
Home placement requirements
Manufactured homes can be placed on land owned by the program participant or in a manufactured home park. If the applicant hasn’t secured a location, program staff may be able to help find one.
No homes can be placed or built in a floodway. The living area in all construction in the 100-year floodplain must be elevated at least 2 feet above “base flood elevation.”
When an applicant submits an application, any construction that has already begun must pause (“stop work”) while an environmental review of the site is completed. In cases where there are no concerns identified, the review may be completed relatively quickly. If the project includes new construction in an environmentally or culturally sensitive area, the review could take longer.
There are no prohibitions on resale or requirements for length of residency for HARP. However, if the home is sited in a permanently affordable manufactured home park, that park may have such restrictions.
All program benefits are subject to benefit caps and a reasonable-cost analysis. (HOP programs will have additional restrictions to preserve the affordability of homes for future purchasers.)
How and when to apply
Former homeowners will be able to apply directly through an online application or work with an agency in your community that will help with the process. OHCS' target to begin accepting applications for Phase 1 of HARP is late spring 2023.
The application process will take some time, but local partners will be available to help collect documents, answer questions, and guide applicants through the process.
Please note: Because of federal requirements, the application process will be intensive. It may take several sessions to complete the application itself. The review process is also likely in many cases to take several months.
Start getting your documentation ready to apply
Applicants will have to prove several things to be eligible for HARP. There is NOT a citizenship or residency status requirement. The state must document that HARP recipients owned their primary residence and that it was destroyed (or damaged) by one of the fires or windstorms that was a Presidentially Declared Disaster. Applicants who have a FEMA Individual Assistance ID number can provide that in place of some of the documentation below, but they will still need to provide proof of identity and current income.
Evidence of homeownership (such as a deed, title, or bill of sale)
Proof of identity for all household members over age 18 (such as a government-issued photo ID or Consular ID).
Record of any other benefits or recovery supports received, including insurance payments
Proof of current income (documents showing amount of income from all current sources)
Record of damage to the home (such as an official damage assessment, insurance documents and/or photos)
Evidence the home was your primary residence (such as a government-issued ID listing that address)
Applicants who don’t have the preferred documents may be able to submit alternatives, such as a birth certificate, bank statement, or school registration. OHCS will be publishing a detailed list of required documents and alternatives soon.
Additional documents may be needed prior to an award determination.