Sometimes, one crisis can make another problem worse. On the West Coast, extreme wildfires are growing more common. At the same time, affordable housing is scarce. And that makes it harder for people displaced by a fire to recover.
In southern Oregon, many families are still trying to rebuild after last September’s Almeda fire.
“The fire wiped out 2,800 homes, including several mobile home parks, where many residents were low-income families, … seniors, and veterans,” says Elib Crist Dwyer of the nonprofit Rogue Climate.
He coordinates a fire relief center in Phoenix, Oregon, that’s been helping fire victims get food, clothes, supplies, and housing.
“We are collecting the various resources that we know of that can help folks get first and last month’s rent, or to pay for the hotels where so many families are still housed,” Dwyer says.
He says many cannot afford the area’s rising home prices. And because several mobile home parks burned, the need for affordable housing is especially urgent.
“And so it’s been really important to be advocating that these parks get rebuilt,” he says.
He says rebuilding them will help make it possible for residents to return home to their communities.
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media