ALBANY, N.Y. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has initiated a program, in coordination with State and local governments, to provide Temporary Housing Units (THUs) to New York communities hard hit by Hurricane Irene.
“Temporary housing units are for people who need a place to stay, with utilities, while they repair their damaged homes,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Philip E. Parr. “Our goal is to help people repair their homes as quickly as possible. The temporary housing units meet short-term housing needs, while flood survivors make repairs.”
“We will work one-on-one with people to help them recover from this severe flooding,” said Andrew X. Feeney, Director of the New York State Office of Emergency Management and State Coordinating Officer.
“I want to thank FEMA for working to get these temporary housing units in place,” said Congressman Paul Tonko. “These units will assist those hardest hit by the flooding, making certain they have living arrangements while they move forward with assessing and repairing the damage to their homes.”
Available rental units on the open market within a reasonable distance are the primary option for temporary housing. The FEMA temporary housing units are another option.
The temporary housing units will be shipped to a federal staging area in Cobleskill and then moved to a private home site or a commercial site.
FEMA housing experts will call people whose homes or rental units were destroyed or severely damaged in the flooding, and who have registered with FEMA, to assess their temporary housing needs on a case-by-case basis.
FEMA will discuss with flood survivors whether a temporary housing unit is the best option or if rental units are available within a reasonable distance. The site must be clear of debris and utility hook-ups must be readily available. A site inspector will look at the property to make sure it is suitable for a temporary housing unit.
After the site is approved, the temporary housing unit will be delivered and set up. Once the unit is ready, FEMA will schedule an occupancy date with the homeowner or renter.
FEMA does not charge rent for the temporary housing unit, however applicants must pay all utilities.
While living in the housing unit, residents can actively pursue making home repairs so they can return to their home as soon as possible.
To register with FEMA, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, seven days a week until further notice. People with hearing disabilities can use the TTY number, 800-462-7585. Applicants can also register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or with any web-enabled mobile device or smartphone at m.fema.gov. Follow the link to “apply online for federal assistance.”
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.