Message from Federal Coordinating Officer Nancy M. Casper

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Federal Coordinating Officer Nancy M. CasperHOUSING AND HOPE FOR ARKANSANS

When temporary housing units rolled into Little Rock recently, they brought interim housing options and hope to many Arkansans who lost their homes during the spring severe weather and flooding. The arrival of each unit brings its future resident another step further in the recovery process.

The mobile homes and park models we are providing to survivors are part of the larger housing program offered by the state of Arkansas and FEMA. This program uses several resources to house eligible residents displaced by the storms, tornadoes and flooding of April 14 to June 3. We prefer to connect disaster survivors who need housing with existing rental resources, and we have worked to identify available rental properties during the last several weeks. However, some places simply do not have enough available properties to house storm survivors.
While placing survivors in available rental homes or apartments is our first choice, the temporary housing units provide excellent short-term solutions. Many of the units are placed in areas where the demand for rental property exceeds the available properties.

Each survivor is offered a temporary home rent-free for up to 18 months from the May 2 declaration date. No matter whether the resident relocates to a rental property or to a temporary housing unit, the survivors will find a safe haven during recovery from the storms.
Dozens of temporary housing units have come into our Little Rock staging area with many already placed at or headed to sites close to the houses that survivors are repairing or rebuilding. Pre-placement interviews determine households eligible for temporary housing units based on their permanent housing plan and their need for housing.

The health and safety of the disaster survivors we serve ranks as our top priority. So, each brand new unit meets or surpasses safety and air quality specifications issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. And each comes with quality furnishings and appliances crafted using standards higher than those mandated by law. We hope the amenities make the units feel somewhat like a “home away from home” for survivors.

We continue to work hard beside our state partners to help Arkansans get back on their feet after this spring’s flooding and storms. Offering temporary housing to residents who have nowhere else to turn is just a small step in this process.

And please remember, if you live in one of the 37 counties designated for Individual Assistance and you sustained damage from the storms and flooding, register with FEMA at www.disasterassistance.gov, by web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov, or by telephone toll free at 1-800-621-FEMA or TTY 1-800-462-7585.

Last Updated: 
06/26/2012 - 14:44