FEMA installed around 180 trailers after the devastating 2020 fires. The temporary housing was planned to be removed on March 15, so Oregon lawmakers applied for an extension. When that was approved, it came with a catch. Residents got letters a week and a half ago telling them that they would be expected to pay market-rate rent.
“For a two-bedroom, it’s about $1,100. It’s more like $1,700 for a three-bedroom,” says Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland. “So it’s caused a tremendous amount of alarm and anxiety and sort of retraumatization among residents.”
Marsh says residents should begin an application for FEMA subsidies, which are priced according to individuals’ income.
“People who are at 50% of median income can get their rent decreased to as little as $50 a month,” says Marsh. “Which, I think we’d all agree, is probably manageable for everybody.”
Financial assistance is also being offered by the Medford nonprofit, ACCESS.