FEMA numbers continue dropping
The 310 Texas households remaining in temporary disaster housing units supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continue to receive priority attention from federal, state and local disaster recovery officials – in an effort to assist these Hurricane Ike survivors in transitioning to more permanent housing.
There are 70 families still in FEMA units in Orange County – 34 in Bridge City, 25 in Orange and 6 in West Orange.
“We are thoroughly committed to assisting this population,” said State Coordinating Officer Ben Patterson. “Every effort is being made to help these families get back home before the temporary housing program ends July 9, 2010.”
FEMA and its federal, state and local partners are working closely, coordinating available resources and utilizing a variety of recovery programs to meet the needs of occupants prior to the end of program deadline. Two such programs include FEMA’s voluntary Sales to Occupant program and its Temporary Housing Unit Donations program.
The Sales program allows households to buy the FEMA unit they are currently occupying. Nearly 1,000 have already purchased their mobile homes or park models.
Meanwhile, FEMA’s Temporary Housing Unit Donations Program is being offered to the state, local governments and interested nonprofit organizations. Under the program, FEMA donates housing units to these organizations for the purpose of housing current Hurricane Ike temporary housing unit occupants.
More than 3,700 Texas households sought shelter in the temporary units after Hurricane Ike, with nearly 3,400 already moving back home or into other more permanent housing. Some of these households occupied units on FEMA’s temporary housing community sites in Galveston County’s High Island and Schreiber Field and in Bridge City. The Bridge City site closed on Feb. 20 and Schreiber Field is slated to close April 30 after the remaining households have transitioned into more permanent housing.
“FEMA’s temporary housing program is designed to bring in mobile homes only when rental resources are not available,” added FEMA Hurricane Ike Recovery Manager Brad Harris. “As damaged homes are repaired and rental resources become available, individuals and families can successfully move out of these temporary housing units. FEMA is here providing support for this process in every way possible.”
For more information on Hurricane Ike recovery, go to www.fema.gov/ike. Watch the Temporary Housing Unit Deactivation Webisode at www.fema.gov/hazard/hurricane/2008/ike/special/videos.shtm#0.