JOPLIN, Mo. -- On February 6, households residing in Federal Emergency Management Agency mobile homes in Joplin dropped below 500, recovery officials said today.
Mobile home occupancy peaked at 586 on October 3, 2011. As of February 6, 491 units are occupied
"This is an encouraging benchmark of the continuing Joplin recovery," Federal Coordinating Officer Stephen Thompson of FEMA, said. "Housing in Joplin and nearby areas is coming on line and survivors are finding permanent residency."
Representatives from FEMA housing counsel mobile home occupants monthly to assure the occupants are working to find permanent housing solutions. Occupants are required to have a permanent housing plan to continue to occupy a FEMA mobile home.
Most occupants are located in three group sites - Hope Haven, Hope Haven II and Officer Jeff Taylor - near the Joplin airport, but there are pads at thirteen private mobile home parks on which FEMA mobile homes are located as well.
FEMA brought mobile homes to Joplin based on the recommendations of the state-led Disaster Housing Task Force. The task force was created right after the tornado to assess the housing needs of survivors. After reviewing available housing resources in the area, it was determined a mobile home program was needed.
"The success in survivors finding permanent housing reflects the local, county and state efforts found in the Disaster Housing Task Force," Thompson said.
The first mobile home - installed at a commercial park - was occupied on June 15, 2011.
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.