RALEIGH, N.C. -- Housing victims of Hurricane Floyd remains a top priority of the state-federal disaster recovery efforts ranging from a state program to provide travel trailers for temporary emergency housing to federal programs that meet emergency and longer term housing needs. "We need to know that everyone is in safe, sanitary and secure housing," said Glenn Woodard, federal coordinating officer for recovery operations. "We can't put people back on their feet until we help them get a roof over their heads."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster-housing program provides two types of immediate assistance:
- Rental Assistance is available to temporarily house owners or tenants whose homes were destroyed or substantially damaged
- Grants for limited home repairs are available to homeowners for up to $10,000 in emergency repairs to make a residence habitable until more extensive repairs can be made. Examples of emergency work include essential repairs to electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems, as well as general carpentry to make a home safe and habitable
Woodard emphasized that the grants are not intended to restore a home to its pre-disaster condition and cannot be used for cosmetic repairs, remodeling, or repairs covered by insurance. "To qualify for a limited home repair grant, the applicant must be an owner-occupant and the home must be a primary residence," he explained.
Eric Tolbert, director of North Carolina Emergency Management Division, said that some immediate housing needs were being met through the state's travel trailer program. "People want to stay close to home, even if that home no longer exists," said Tolbert. By providing travel trailers in the most devastated areas the state is trying to let people rebuild their lives in familiar surroundings, explained Tolbert.
Individuals seeking assistance are encouraged to call the Application Hotline 1-800-462-9029 to register to determine if they are eligible under any of the state and federal disaster relief programs. The toll-free number will operate from 7a.m. to 7p.m, Sunday through Saturday. Individuals with hearing or speech impairments who use special keyboard equipment (TTY) should call 1-800-462-7585.