Marion County Signs Secures $12,000,000 from Oregon Housing and Community Services for Wildfire Recovery

Posted on March 15, 2023

Marion County – 03/14/23 4:41 PM

The 2020 Beachie Creek and Lionshead wildfires devastated the Santiam Canyon. More than two years later, there are still nearly 100 households fighting to return home between Marion and Linn Counties.

Last week, Marion County signed an intergovernmental agreement to secure $12,000,000 from Oregon Housing and Community Services as Marion County’s share of the $150,000,000 provided by HB 5006 (2021).

Marion County Board of Commissioners, in partnership with the Santiam Canyon Long-Term Recovery Group, will be providing an opportunity to wildfire primary homeowners that are currently without permanent housing to apply for grant funding. The grant funding will be available to get them across the finish line and into permanent housing or, for some, to begin rebuilding their homes and their lives on their way to recovery from the wildfires.

These funds are limited in the scope of their ability. In-order for pre-fire homeowners to gain access to these funds the Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services (OHCS) has applied some restrictions to qualify, in that the household cannot exceed 120% area median income.

“We have been in discussions with OHCS since April of 2021 on these funds. It has been a long and grueling process. Originally, OHCS only wanted to serve up to 80% AMI, which was not and is not sufficient for our neighbors in the Canyon. Our persistence is paying off and we will be able to help far more of the remaining wildfire survivors get back into permanent – stable housing. I could not be more proud of the Marion County team who has worked on this effort and I am looking forward to seeing families return to their homes and find some peace in their lives again.” Marion County Commissioner, Danielle Bethell.

There was a thorough forensic review of remaining households that still need to recover, either in part or entirely. These funds will be able to support most of the households currently case managed except for those that are specifically restricted because of their income level.

Guidelines and an application process are being finalized by Marion County.

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