Head of FEMA on Texas Relief: “We Don’t Just Start Dragging in Manufactured Homes”
Texas relief is on its way…but patience may be required.
In the aftermath of recent natural disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has utilized specially designed manufactured housing units (MHUs) for temporary housing. More often than not, these MHU’s are utilized for a period of 18 months, providing a safe refuge for families recovering while their damaged homes are rebuilt or replaced. These manufactured homes are often installed on the same site or in a temporary developed manufactured home community nearby the affected neighborhoods.
UNLIMITED SUPPLY OF MANUFACTURED HOMES AVAILABLE FOR LONG TERM DISASTER RECOVERY
FEMA has hundreds, if not thousands, of MHUs in staging areas close to the affected flood zones in Texas and Louisiana. FEMA is also aware, the manufactured home industry has the capacity to quickly produce thousands of additional manufactured home units as needed. However, for now – the emphasis will be on providing short-term to immediate “victim relief,” whereas the utilization of MHUs will be an intricate component of the long term recovery strategy.
HOUSING SITUATION IN TEXAS “IS GOING TO BE VERY FRUSTRATING”
Federal Emergency Management Director, Brock Long, informed reporters during a Monday news conference that the housing situation is “going to be very frustrating in Texas, and we have to set the expectations. We already have disaster housing assessment teams on site. We’re already working proactively with the state.”
Acknowledging the obvious, Long noted, “The state of Texas is about to undergo one of the largest recovery housing missions that the nation has ever seen.”
Long told the news conference, the goal of FEMA is to systematically handle the requirements of the many, as fast as possible. Providing immediate assistance to the cold and huddled masses, before addressing the long term aspects of the recovery process.
The FEMA director explained, “Once you wrap up the life safety mission and you’re moving citizens who may be trapped or isolated, you’re trying to get them to a shelter, you’re trying to minimize the time that they spend in that shelter.”
Long noted that Secretary Ben Carson (HUD) has also conveyed to him that his agency is going to be actively involved in the recovery process as well.
Appreciative that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has activated the Transitional Shelter Assistance Program (TSAP), Long acknowledged TSAP helps people in disaster areas receive assistance to either move into either hotels, motels or long-term rentals.
MANUFACTURED HOMES AND TRAVEL TRAILERS ARE “THE LAST RESORT”
Manufactured homes and travel trailers are a “last resort,” according to Long.
“If we can’t put you back in your home because it’s destroyed or because the flood waters are there and they’re going to be there for a while, we want to get you out of the long term shelter situation,” Long said. “Let’s try to rent out different facilities and be able to place people in those types of places.”
After all, was said and done… the new director of FEMA concluded, “We don’t just start dragging in manufactured homes and travel trailers right off the bat. They’re not going to be on your property tomorrow by any means. This is a process where you have to be in, you know, into the individual assistance.”