Manufactured housing units being built in Oregon as temporary housing for fire victims

Map of fires in northwest Oregon, September 13, 2020 Riverside Beachie Creek Lionshead
Map of fires in northwest Oregon, September 13, 2020, while the fires were still spreading.

FEMA has begun moving Manufactured Housing Units (MHUs) onto a newly constructed site in Mill City, Oregon that will provide temporary housing for qualified wildfire survivors and their families.

Several communities southeast of Salem along Highway 22 suffered severe impacts from the Beachie Creek and Lionshead Fires which grew large during the wind event of September 7 and 8, 2020. Some of the worst hit towns were Mill City and Gates.

Construction on the new Mill City site began earlier this month, with work completed ahead of schedule. The site is currently scheduled to receive 13 manufactured housing units (MHUs) and can accommodate up to 16 MHUs, providing necessary temporary housing for the qualified residents of both Linn and Marion counties.

As soon as all MHU are delivered and placed on site, each unit will be given a final inspection ensuring they are ready for occupancy, and families will be scheduled to move into their temporary homes.

To date, 85 families whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed by this year’s wildfires have been approved for temporary housing units. These units are placed in established RV parks or in FEMA constructed group sites.

In addition to Linn and Marion counties, FEMA’s Direct Housing mission is establishing temporary housing for qualified disaster survivors in Jackson and Lincoln counties in sites like the one in Mill City. Housing units are chosen by FEMA based on the survivor family composition and needs, as well as to ensure that requirements for access or functional needs are met.

Currently, 240 qualified families are scheduled to receive FEMA Direct Temporary Housing in the four counties. The current number of qualified families has fallen as many households that qualified for this assistance have located alternate temporary or permanent housing on their own.

Other programs for fire victims such as rental assistance may be available. Apply online at, by downloading the FEMA app, or by calling the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. PDT, seven days a week.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.