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Draft plan unveiled for $422 million in Oregon disaster recovery

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneHousing being constructed off Rapp Road in Talent. Some 99% of $422,286,000 in federal disaster aid intended to help the state recover from the fires will go to areas designated “most impacted and distressed.’

Oregon Housing and Community Services unveiled a proposed plan and budget for how to allocate an unprecedented $422 million in federal disaster aid to help the state recover from the aftermath of the Labor Day 2020 wildfires.

Some 99% of $422,286,000 in federal disaster aid intended to help the state recover from the fires will go to areas designated “most impacted and distressed” by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which includes Jackson, Clackamas, Douglas, Lane, Lincoln and Marion counties, according to the 198-page draft Action Plan published by the state agency as its plans for spending the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funding authorized last fall.

About 80% of funding will go to housing programs, 10% will go to infrastructure, 7% is dedicated to administration planning and the remaining 3% is dedicated to public services, according to the proposed budget.

Housing program funding intended to serve low- and moderate-income individuals with urgent needs includes about $202.5 million, while $118.1 million is for a home-ownership opportunities program based on underwriting and program standards serving low- and moderate income individuals, and $16.8 million for intermediate housing assistance.

Infrastructure funding includes about $38.7 million intended to serve low- and moderate-income and urgent needs based on program standards

The public services funding includes $5.9 million for Housing and Recovery Services within the most-impacted areas and $5.9 million for legal services intended to help people with low and moderate incomes.

About 2%, or roughly $8 million, will go toward a community planning and revitalization program, and about $21 million — no more than 5% — will go to administrative costs.

According to the proposal, $4,222,860 will be dedicated to an area of Klamath County that received a presidential disaster declaration during the 2020 fires.

Oregonians will have a chance to make public comments on the proposal, which OHCS calls “ReOregon,” at five public hearings scheduled for later this month — including two in Jackson County.

One open house is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at the Talent Community Center, at 104 E. Main St., Talent. A public hearing will follow at 6 p.m. Another Talent open house featuring a Spanish language presentation will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, at 104 E. Main St. An open house will precede the event at 5 p.m.

Hearings elsewhere around the state include open houses and public hearings May 16 in Lincoln City, May 17 in Gates and May 18 in Vida. Spanish language and American Sign Language translators will be available at all public hearings.

For more information, or to provide comments, visit re.oregon.gov, email ReOregon@hcs.oregon.gov, call 833-604-0878 or mail Recovery and Resiliency Section, Oregon Housing & Community Services, 725 Summer St. NE, Ste. B, Salem, OR 97301.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.