Wildfire Relief Efforts

HBF and HBA Cares

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.  Our metro Portland HBA is working, alongside Home Builders Foundation (HBF) and our HBA partners across the State, on several steps to help with the short and long-term needs of our communities here and around the State.

1  – Short-term shelter and resource needs:

Our industry is a generous industry, and we have always been thankful to see that outreach and care.  We know many would like to know what they can do to help with some 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. 

Home Builders Foundation (HBF) also has opportunities for you to donate or help as well.  HBF, which has worked 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 tools needed in the deconstruction and rebuilding process. 

Find out more on the HBF website and make a donation at www.BuildHopePDX.org

2  – Consumer Education

HBA is developing a consumer education piece that helps those who have had their homes lost or damaged know the steps to take to start the rebuilding process.  This includes general information about contacting insurance, securing property and preventing further damage, as well as helpful tips (and cautions) when getting bids from contractors for repairs and rebuilding.  This resource will be available soon on the HBA website at www.hbapdx.org.

3 — Regulatory Help

As communities begin the rebuilding effort, we’ve learned from other places around the Country how important it is to have government flexibility and expediency in the processes they control.  Damaged homes or ones needing a complete rebuild after a natural disaster have special needs and shouldn’t have to go through the same process that new homes go through to get approvals.  We are working with our State Association (OHBA) on regulatory help 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/rebuild efforts

Many of the communities hit 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 info to our members who are able to expand their services and help in these areas.

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