TEXAS CITY, Texas -- Daily progress continues to be made as a federally mandated End of Program date of March 12, 2010 approaches for all occupants of temporary disaster housing units provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.
FEMA is working closely with occupants and voluntary organizations to assist all households living in the temporary housing units to take advantage of the resources currently available to assist them in making progress on their permanent housing plans and transition to more permanent housing.
“Our FEMA teams are providing information on available rental units and additional resources through voluntary agencies,” said Hurricane Ike Recovery Manager Brad Harris. “It is everyone’s goal, at every level, to help all occupants of these units that were designed for temporary living, to move forward in their recovery and find permanent housing before the end of program.”
Occupants have several options in transitioning to more permanent safe, secure and sanitary housing, including buying their FEMA unit, receiving additional FEMA funds if choosing to rent elsewhere, and/or repairing their storm-damaged home, if they are homeowners.
Out of the more than 3,700 Ike survivors who once occupied temporary housing units during their recovery, less than 1,100 households remain in units today. That number continues to decrease daily as occupants finalize their permanent housing plans and are no longer in need of the temporary units. More than 650 households have purchased their unit, others have returned to their homes, rented elsewhere or rented from one of more than 2,700 rental resources under the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Additional resources are available through the state’s 2-1-1 program and local voluntary agencies to help with deposits, furniture, and other unmet needs.
FEMA understands that the End of Program date of March 12, 2010 may seem too distant of a date to worry about at this time, but the agency stresses that it takes time to repair or rebuild, find another place to live and move into more permanent housing. Therefore, FEMA encourages everyone to take advantage of the many people, programs and properties available now.
For some occupants, discontinued use of the temporary disaster housing units may come sooner than the program end date, simply because they are unable to show they have established and are making progress toward a viable, timely and verifiable permanent housing plan, which they agreed to do as part of their licensing agreement signed prior to accepting temporary use of the unit.
In advance of the temporary housing program end date of March 12, 2010, FEMA is coordinating with voluntary organizations to address the needs of all households in the temporary housing units and especially those that do not have a viable housing plan to be permanently housed by the end of program.
Some of the many organizations active in Hurricane Ike’s recovery are:
Area on Aging
Boat People SOS, Inc.
Deep East Texas Council of Governments
East Texas Health Access Networks
Fuller Disaster Recovery
GMC Consultants, LLC
Houston Dept. of Health and Human Services
ICNA Relief USA Programs, Inc.
Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response, Inc.