MINOT, N.D. – After 27 months, the FEMA temporary housing mission in the Souris Valley came to a close yesterday. In the aftermath of the 2011 Souris River flooding, FEMA brought in more than 2,000 manufactured homes to address the severe housing shortage in the region. In the past month, the final few remaining households have been securing permanent housing.
To address the housing needs of the Souris Valley, FEMA established three group housing complexes, encompassing more than 800 individual sites. Those sites were De Sour Valley Heights on the outskirts of Burlington, Recovery Village northeast of Minot and Virgil Workman Village on the east end of Minot. In addition, five manufactured housing parks were also utilized and more than 1,100 manufactured housing units were placed on private property.
All families were placed into housing units by Christmas 2011 – a remarkable accomplishment considering the shortage of contractors available and the inhospitable weather that North Dakota can experience. From that point, residents returned to permanent housing at a rate of approximately 100 per month, with more in the summer months and fewer in the winter time when construction slows.
The diligent efforts of FEMA housing staff have assisted residents in both finding available rental housing as well as completing a highly successful housing unit sales program – which resulted in 265 units being sold to residents for permanent housing.
Helping 2,000 households return to a permanent housing situation has been a collaborative effort that has resulted in the successful completion of this housing mission. The Bank of North Dakota Rebuilders Loan Program has provided low-interest loans to assist residents with the purchase of a unit from FEMA. The Minot Housing Authority has worked closely with FEMA housing residents to find available public housing options. And Hope Village provided critical volunteer labor and donated resources to help homeowners make repairs to their damaged homes.
In addition to managing the temporary housing program, FEMA has provided more than $90 million to Souris Valley residents to make repairs to flood damaged properties or to pay rent while unable to live in a flood-damaged home. Statewide, FEMA has provided more than $400 million in disaster assistance to individuals and governmental jurisdictions as a result of 2011 flooding.