News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

State housing recovery program starts March 25

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is launching a program that will help low- and moderate-income homeowners who still need assistance to repair, rebuild, or replace their homes after the 2020 wildfires.

Beginning March 25 homeowners can register for the Homeowner Assistance and Reconstruction Program (HARP). Applicants can fill out an eligibility questionnaire at https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/disaster-recovery/pages/reoregon.aspx/. 

OHCS will notify applicants who are eligible to apply for the first phase of HARP. Those who may not be eligible during this first phase may qualify in later phases if there are still funds available.

Initially, the program will assist only low- and moderate-income residents. However, even if your income is higher than the amount listed, OHCS still wants to hear from you. 

Property owners can help make the process as smooth as possible by making sure they have the correct documents on hand when they are invited to apply. 

No documents are needed to complete the eligibility questionnaire.

For a family of four the total household income must be less than or equal to $66,950 a year in Marion County or $63,600 in Linn County to be eligible to receive assistance in the first phase of HARP.

HARP applicants need the following:

• Personal identification such as a photo ID or driver’s license (U.S. citizenship is not required.)

• Proof applicant is the homeowner, and the damaged home was their primary residence

• Records of damages from the 2020 Labor Day wildfires

• Proof of the applicant’s current income

• Receipts of recovery expenses for repair, replacement, or construction

• Property tax and mortgage information, if applicable

• Record of any disaster assistance payments, loans, or insurance benefits received

• Power of attorney, if applicable.

Even if your household exceeds the income limits, you could be eligible for assistance if you are experiencing certain hardships such as:

• Your household is paying 30% or more of your income to repay a debt, such as medical or recovery debts.

• Your household has one or more people with a physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

HARP is part of ReOregon, which is using $422 million in federal community development block grant program funds. HARP funds may be able to help with remaining repair costs, remaining costs to rebuild or replace your home and fixes to a replacement home

If you have already completed your new home, although the first phase of HARP will cover only future costs, hold on to all your rebuilding receipts and records. If funds are available, reimbursement may be possible in a future phase.

“We are excited to announce this first step in the process to get survivors the help they need to fix existing homes or get new ones,” said Alex Campbell, chief external affairs officer of OHCS’ disaster recovery and resilience division. 

“We have been working with local partners to make resources available that we hope will make the application process easier for survivors.”

OHCS has opened a call center for those with questions. Applicants can call or text 1-877-510-6800 or 541-250-0938 or email [email protected]. OHCS is Oregon’s housing finance agency. It provides financial and program support to create and preserve opportunities for quality, affordable housing for Oregonians of low and moderate income.

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