The couple handed round a telephone with footage of their former house, a four-bedroom home that held them and their son’s household of three. Lanette Martin referred to as it her “Shangri-la.” For 5 years, they have been caretakers of the 40-acre property, the place their energy got here from photo voltaic panels and their water got here from mountain springs. In alternate, the Martins—who stay on a hard and fast earnings—paid simply $700 monthly in hire. Now, the couple can’t discover even a studio condominium for that worth: In 2020, rents and residential values skyrocketed amid excessive demand pushed by the fires and an inflow of out-of-state arrivals throughout the pandemic. The Martins lived in a number of associates’ houses after the fires, however needed to depart the most recent one when it offered in lower than 24 hours—a typical prevalence these days in Jackson County, the place Medford is situated.
From 2013 to 2017, practically a 3rd of Jackson County residents have been severely rent-burdened, spending greater than 50 % of their month-to-month earnings on hire, in line with Oregon Housing and Neighborhood Companies. And that was earlier than the September 2020 wildfires exacerbated the county’s already acute affordable-housing scarcity. Of the practically 2,500 houses destroyed in Jackson County, 60 % have been cellular houses.
The Martins lacked renter’s insurance coverage and hadn’t utilized for FEMA help. Their son’s household, nonetheless, now lives in a FEMA trailer, one among a couple of hundred Jackson County households the company is housing; one other hundred are on its waitlist. The state is offering resort rooms and RVs to a further 765 Jackson County hearth survivors.
Because the Martins sorted their few belongings into their room on the Redwood Inn, their 7-year-old canine, Keyeva, stretched out on the mattress. Keyeva had made it out of the fireplace, however the Martins’ 5 chickens died of their coop, and their cat was nowhere to be discovered. Residing within the Redwood Inn rent-free means they’ll save up for a down fee on a home, the Martins defined. “We’re not on the lookout for a handout,” Steve Martin says. “We’re simply on the lookout for a hand.”
Just a few days later, the aroma of pork tacos and home made salsa stuffed the air of an upstairs motel room on the Redwood Inn. Alvarez and her household have been benefiting from their room’s kitchenette; Rogue Retreat had spent additional time making ready models that already had kitchenettes to accommodate individuals with particular dietary or medical wants. Lanette Martin has sort 2 diabetes, and two of Alvarez’s three kids have hemophilia, a bleeding dysfunction.
After they moved in, one among Alvarez’s first duties was to provide her 10-year-old son, Anthony Gonzalez, the weekly injection that helps his blood clot correctly. Alvarez and her kids moved from California to Oregon final yr, drawn by the state’s good public faculties and booming hemp trade. However the wildfires burned lots of the area’s farms, and Alvarez has had bother discovering jobs trimming hemp.