Disaster relief and support - HBA Cares



Disaster relief and support - HBA Cares

FEMA Region 10 News Release on the Major Disaster Declaration for the Oregon Wildfires, DR-4562-ORIncludes helpful information about how those impacted by the fires can apply for federal assistance. 

We have connected with and heard from many of our members over the last week. Thankfully, the worst of the fire threat is behind us and many who evacuated or faced potential evacuation have been able to return home. We know that is not the case for all, though, both in our region and in other areas around the state.  
 
The impacts of the devastating wildfires this month will carry over into the next several years, as people whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged try to rebuild their lives and their homes. HBA of Metro Portland is working alongside our Home Builders Foundation and our HBA partners across the state on several steps to help with the short and long-term needs of our communities locally and statewide.
 
1 - Short-Term Shelter and Resource Needs
Our industry is a generous industry. HBA has always been thankful for those who step-up to provide outreach and care to our communities. We know many of our members would like to know what they can do to support the immediate needs of others. 
 
We have identified three highly credible relief-based organizations where you can safely and confidently donate money, items or seek assistance.  
Our own Home Builders Foundation (HBF) also has opportunities for you to donate or help those affected. HBF, which works with our industry to help build, expand or improve dozens of transitional shelters across our region, is identifying specific shelters that need financial or other resources. You can make a contribution directly to our Foundation and note that it is for “disaster relief efforts.”  100% of the funds will go directly to local nonprofits we have vetted and approved to support the recovery efforts. HBF is also exploring ways to provide short-term temporary housing for those who have lost their homes, similar to the PODS constructed for transitional housing, as well as financial support to provide the necessary tools for the deconstruction and rebuilding process. 

Find out more on HBF’s website and make a donation at buildhopepdx.org.
 
2 - Consumer Education
HBA is developing a consumer education piece to help those whose homes have been damaged or destroyed begin to navigate the rebuilding process. This includes general information about contacting insurance, securing property, and preventing further damage, as well as helpful tips (and cautions) when seeking bids from contractors for repairs and rebuilding. This resource will be available on HBA’s website in the coming days and included in our Portland Housing Month promotions throughout October.
 
3 - Regulatory Help
As communities begin to rebuild, we’ve learned from other places around the country the importance of government flexibility and expediency in the processes they control.  Damaged or destroyed homes, including those needing a complete rebuild following a natural disaster, have special needs and shouldn’t be subject to the same approval process as new homes.  We are working with our state association (OHBA) on regulatory help that local and state governments can provide in terms of model ordinances for rebuilding, permitting expediency, landfill and debris removal, and other related issues.
 
4 - Long-term Construction and Rebuild Efforts
Many of the communities affected are smaller towns, some in areas that don’t have a large local source of contractors to help with these needs.  Even in towns with a good local base of contractors, the amount of rebuilding needed could dwarf what the demand and supply typically is in a year for construction.  Over the weeks ahead, we will be working with local HBAs across the state to identify opportunities and help provide that information to our members who are able to expand their services and help in these areas.