BISMARCK, N.D. – Nearly five months after the Federal Emergency Management Agency began assisting North Dakotans with flood-damaged homes, more than 4,600 residents have moved into more than 1,550 temporary housing units provided through FEMA’s direct housing program.
This is equivalent to housing everyone in a town the size of Grafton or the entire counties of Sargent or Sioux.
FEMA began placing housing on private sites July 26 – just 31 days after federal disaster assistance became available to individuals and families. Since then, more than 1,050 families have lived in the units. Some residents have already moved out of these units and moved back into their homes, freeing units for use by other families.
In addition to private sites, FEMA continues to provide temporary housing on group sites. In partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA has undertaken the challenge of constructing five temporary neighborhoods designed to contain 850 homes for more than 2,500 people. The process has included locating the land, designing the layout, constructing the infrastructure and moving in families.
The 50-unit Burlington site is fully occupied. Virgil Workman Phase One is 95 percent occupied; all units are in place and more than half are occupied in Phase Two; and placement of units is under way in Phase Three. Units will also be placed on an additional fifth site.
To increase the number of sites available for temporary housing units, FEMA is also utilizing existing commercial sites. FEMA assisted in the preparation of more than 350 sites and has installed 200 units. More than half of these are occupied and families continue to move in.
The availability of FEMA direct housing for Ward County residents is exceptional as the majority of disasters do not provide this type of assistance. In most instances, people with housing damage receive housing assistance funds for rental and repair through the Individuals and Households Program and through Small Business Administration loans.