Rep. DeFazio, Oregon Delegation Urge FEMA to Approve Direct Housing Assistance for Wildfire Victims

WASHINGTON—Rep. Peter DeFazio today led the Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Greg Walden (OR-02), Kurt Schrader (OR-05) and Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01)  in urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to approve the State of Oregon’s request for direct housing assistance utilizing a full range of options for wildfire victims.

The housing assistance, known as a Temporary Housing Mission, will allow FEMA to avail itself of a wide range of temporary housing options including travel trailers, manufactured housing units, direct lease, and multi-family lease and repair. Housing assistance for qualified individuals and households may be available for up to 18 months.

In a letter to FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor, the lawmakers write, “In times of disaster, people seek comfort and safety in their homes. However, with no homes to return to, thousands of Oregonians lack the opportunity to find that same solace and are instead temporarily housed in hotel rooms…While still a far cry from a return to home, temporary solutions provide people certainty, privacy, and the ability to resume some aspects of their normal daily routine as they recover.”

DeFazio and Senators Wyden and Merkley hand-delivered the letter to Administrator Gaynor in Salem on Sunday during his multi-day visit to Oregon to tour areas impacted by the wildfires.

For a PDF version of the letter to Administrator Gaynor, click here.