Thursday, August 20, 2015

Kara Walker, 503-986-1400

Wildfire Damage Housing Relief Now Available For Oregon Wildfire Victims
Individual Assistance Grants Provided Through Wildfire Damage Housing Relief Account

(Salem, OR) – House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) today announced that critical
relief for wildfire victims is now available and accessible through the Wildfire Damage Housing Relief
Account. Created through legislation sponsored by Rep. McLane and signed into law by Governor Kate
Brown, the program serves as an additional resource for Oregon families that lose their homes or housing
in a wildfire. According to the Malheur National Forest Joint Information Center, the Canyon Creek
Complex Fire in eastern Oregon is considered the number one priority nationally for firefighting resources.
The fire has so far destroyed 36 homes and burned through more than 50,000 acres.

“Oregon is facing an unprecedented wildfire season that has already claimed 36 homes and displaced
dozens of families from their communities. These next few months will be challenging as we work to
recover from these devastating fires across our state,” said Rep. McLane. “These wildfire relief grants will
help families rebuild their homes and lives. I will work with our state agencies to make sure these grants
go out as quickly as possible, and am already looking for additional sources of funding so that no family is
left unaided. My thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters who continue to courageously put
themselves in harm’s way to keep our communities safe. Together, we will get through this very difficult
time for our state.”

The Wildfire Damage Housing Relief Account was created under House Bill 3148-A, and will be
administered by the Housing and Community Services Department to assist households of lower income
that suffer a loss of housing due to a wildfire. The department will provide assistance from the account in
the form of grants in the amount of $5,000 each. Eligibility guidelines and applications can be found here
on the Oregon Housing and Community Services website. Additionally, Oregonians who have lost their
homes due to a wildfire can contact the Housing and Community Services Department at (503) 986-2062

As a member of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Emergency Board, Rep. McLane plans to take
action during next month’s Legislative Days to secure additional funding for the Wildfire Damage Housing
Relief Account in order to increase the amount of grants available as well as expand eligibility for the
program. Currently, the amount of funding allotted for the program is capped at $50,000.
Senate President Peter Courtney and Representative Gail Whitsett joined Rep. McLane as chief
sponsors of HB 3148-A.