Tennessee Disaster Survivors Finding Housing, Task Force Study Shows

Main Content
Release date: 
June 16, 2011
Release Number: 

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  — The vast majority of Tennesseans displaced from their homes by recent disasters have found places to live as they recover. This means there is no need to provide manufactured homes as temporary living space, according to two studies by a joint federal-state disaster housing task force.

“Sufficient rental properties are available to meet applicant needs in the counties designated for federal disaster assistance. All registered and eligible applicants are receiving rental assistance checks and rental resource information,” said Tennessee Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Bassham.

The task force included representatives of TEMA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA sent housing experts from its regional office in Atlanta, Ga., to assist the task force in its investigation.

The task force studied the housing needs of survivors displaced by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and associated flooding April 25 - 28. Included in this federal disaster declaration (DR-1974), are Bledsoe, Bradley, Carroll, Cocke, Crockett, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin,  Henry, Johnson, Knox, Madison, McMinn, Monroe, Montgomery, Rhea and Washington counties.

For this disaster, the task force focused on the hardest-hit counties, Greene, Bradley and Washington. Task force representatives talked one-to-one with hundreds of disaster survivors who had asked FEMA for housing assistance grants.  Fewer than 1 percent still needed help to find housing. The others met their housing needs by staying in their damaged dwellings while repairs were made; finding their own rentals or being referred to available rental properties. All of those contacted were receiving FEMA housing assistance grants.

The task force also studied the housing needs of Tennesseans displaced by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and associated flooding from April 19 - June 9. The counties included in this federal disaster declaration (DR-1979), are Dyer, Gibson, Lake, Lauderdale, Lincoln, Obion, Shelby, Stewart and Tipton.

For this disaster, the task force conducted a similar survey, contacting almost 500 applicants. The results were also similar. Fewer than 1 percent still needed assistance finding housing. All have received FEMA housing assistance grants.

“It is important to note that these task force surveys represent a snapshot in time,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer W. Montague Winfield. “We will continue to monitor the ongoing recovery and provide technical assistance to the state as needed.”

Several commercial companies have begun an outreach program offering used and repossessed mobile homes to applicants at significantly reduced prices. In some cases, applicants have used FEMA housing assistance grants to purchase these homes.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.


Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
Back to Top