Center for Community Resilience
Securing Long-Term Housing for Wildfire Survivors
Along with our partners, including case managers from the State of Oregon and other local organizations, we’re helping those who were impacted by the 2020 Jackson County wildfires to find a place to call home.
CCR information flier (pdf)
How We Help
Our mission is to transition fire survivors from living in hotels or other precarious housing to more stable and suitable housing options. If you were affected by the 2020 Jackson County wildfires, the CCR may be able to assist you with:
- Identifying short- and long-term housing needs
- Developing individual housing stability plans
- Conducting housing searches
- Housing-related cash assistance
- Potential homebuyer counseling services
- Homeowner and tenant education & classes
- Manufactured home-specific support
- Referrals to partner agencies to provide ongoing support such as transportation, healthcare, financial, and disability services
The Center for Community Resilience is funded in part by a grant from the Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services.
Homeownership Services Provided by the CCR:
The CCR provides homebuyer education classes to wildfire survivors free of charge. These classes are optional to attend – NOT required for current funding assistance.
The CCR provides one-on-one housing counseling with fire survivors.
- Budgeting and saving
- What to expect working with a Realtor or Lender
- Reviewing resources received towards the loss of the previous home (insurance, FEMA, etc.)
- Housing options available or in development
- Funding options,
- Learning what the survivors goal is for homeownership
The CCR has bilingual housing counselors and support staff available so services can be provided in both English and Spanish.
There is no income limit or citizenship requirement to receive homebuyer education or counseling.
The CCR administered WRRA funding for home purchase but funds have been depleted.
The CCR will partner with new Federal/State funding in 2023.
The CCR partners with Energy Trust of Oregon, Oregon Department of Energy, The Building Codes Division, and the OHCS Manufactured Home Replacement Program to help navigate and assist eligible fire survivors with applying for rebates or funding assistance.
The CCR partners with manufactured home parks to inform fire survivors of available units during rebuilding.
The CCR partners with developers to provide additional homeownership options for fire survivors.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
- Fire survivors interested in homeownership need to contact us (see below) to start the process and then complete an intake packet and will be asked to provide additional documents for their counseling session.
- Once the intake packet and documents have been received, a counseling appointment will be scheduled.
- The counseling session can be in-person or virtual, whatever works best for the participant.
- Once assigned a housing counselor, that counselor will follow up with and continue to work with the participant until they achieve their goal of homeownership.
Housing Navigation Services Provided by the CCR:
The CCR offers housing navigation and housing stabilization services including the following:
- Housing search
- Rental education
- Moving assistance
- Rental assistance
- Landlord incentives
- Utility assistance
- Essential home goods shopping
- Return to work assistance
- Case management
- Repairs and install assistance
As part of case management, a housing stabilization plan will be developed for each individual household and services will be provided based on the plan.
1. To be eligible to receive CCR rental and case management support, participants will need to keep documented proof of structural loss to their primary residence due to the Jackson County 2020 Labor Day Fires.
2. Participants will also need to provide us with 60 days’ worth of income documentation and bank statements.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
- Those interested in housing navigation services need to contact us (see below) to start the process
- CCR intake staff will work with the fire survivor to make sure they have the required information and documentation to determine program eligibility. These documents are used to apply for housing that meets the individual households’ needs and is affordable.
- Once the fire survivor is assigned to a case manager, they can expect their Housing Stabilization Case Manager to meet with them to develop their housing stabilization plan, set goals, and support them in reaching their goals. The case management experience will be progressive. Our goal is to give survivors the assistance they need to gain housing stability.
Survivor Success Stories
Jo Ann’s Story
Jo Ann lost her home in the 2020 Almeda Fire. A year and a half ago, Jo Ann purchased a new manufactured home using insurance and FEMA funding. There was an extensive wait for the house to be completed. On June 7, 2022, she was referred to ACCESS’ new Repair and Infrastructure Program. The program was born after The Wildfire Recovery and Resilience Account (WRRA) updated its guidelines to include infrastructure-only projects. As part of the Center for Community Resilience, Housing Engagement Specialist Will Emond assisted Jo Ann in receiving WRRA funding to pay for her infrastructure costs. On August 5, 2022, Jo Ann’s new home was delivered and now the final steps of infrastructure can begin, bringing Jo Ann another step closer to starting her life in her brand-new home.
“I so appreciate your efforts to help me make my fire recovery journey successful. I’m really looking forward to making it a real home.”
Irma and Cesar’s Story
Purchasing a new home is stressful even in the best of times, but when catastrophic circumstances throw someone into that situation unexpectedly, stress is multiplied by uncertainty, instability, and even grief. Cesar DeLeon and Irma Ramirez learned this first-hand when their trailer burned down during the 2020 Almeda Fire, leaving them with no home and, without insurance, no ability to get into another one.
After the fire, Cesar and Irma, both in their mid-60s, bounced around from hotel to hotel using FEMA funding to pay for their stays. During this time, they worked five different jobs between the two of them to cover living expenses, sharing their one vehicle to make it all work.
Eventually, they landed at their boss’ apartment, which, thanks to his generosity, they were able to temporarily live in rent free. This gave them some financial breathing room and allowed them to think about having their own home again.
In April 2022, Cesar and Irma had an appointment with ACCESS Wildfire Housing Counselor, Adriana Ramirez. Adriana was able to help guide them through the application process and ACCESS provided funds to help complete the gap between the FEMA money they received to help replace their lost trailer and the cost of a new one.
The couple was able to secure a space at Medford Estates, and on July 15, they moved into a brand-new home. In a heartfelt letter, Cesar and Irma “express their eternal thanks” to ACCESS for making it possible to obtain their home, calling it a “miracle of love.”
Letter in English
“From our own experience we understand that through our efforts and acting in a humanitarian manner through organizations like ACCESS; we can make the difference and minimize with the great problems that our fellow human beings face, day to day.”
-Cesar De Leon & Irma Y. Ramirez
How You Can Help
Spread the Word
Mention to friends, family, and colleagues who own property in our area about incentives available for housing fire-impacted families.
Are You a Landlord?
The CCR is in need of landlords and property managers to help fire-impacted households recover from the 2020 wildfire disasters by helping provide safe, long-term housing. Landlords partnering with the CCR are eligible for valuable incentives for housing wildfire-impacted families, including proven cost savings for you!
Landlords are provided with valuable incentives that provide stability, and those recovering from disaster are able to find safe and reliable housing.
Landlord benefits for housing fire-impacted households through the CCR include:
- Complimentary renter’s insurance
- “Rent Well” tenant education classes
- Security deposit payments (up to 3x the monthly rent amount)
- Direct and timely rent payments
- Housing stability counseling and case management for tenants
- Landlord support from CCR staff
Join us in returning our Jackson County neighbors back home.