Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - September 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Families displaced by Ike eligible for housing help
Polk County Enterprise - September 2008
State and federal disaster housing officials are currently developing strategies to address recovery issues facing area communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. “Our hearts go out to those who have experienced such a devastating personal loss, and we want folks to know that we will be here for as long as it takes to start people on the road to recovery,” FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman said.
“Our top priority is to make sure everyone has a safe, habitable place to live.” “Texans are hard-working and determined to rebuild their lives. Our mission is to help them,” Texas Governor’s Division of Emergency Management Agency (GDEM) Coordinating Officer Joan Haun said. Residents whose damaged homes are uninhabitable or inaccessible should first register by calling FEMA at 1-800-621- 3362 (FEMA) to apply for a range of disaster housing assistance, including FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance, which allows displaced residents to stay short-term in hotels until an alternative is found. To spur housing recovery, a Texas Joint Housing Solutions Task Force has been formed to bring together experts from the State of Texas and FEMA.
The Task Force is committed to working with local officials to find innovative solutions to housing needs for displaced Texans. Strategies include working with HUD and state agencies to determine how each may contribute to the task force plan. Under the most severe circumstances where alternate resources such as hotels and apartments are not available, FEMA provides direct housing such as manufactured homes, but only after the state, in cooperation with local communities, has requested FEMA to do so. When a housing program requested by the state is established, residents must first register with FEMA. Housing caseworkers will individually evaluate applicant needs and determine whether someone is eligible for FEMA supplied manufactured housing. Those denied direct housing will be offered further assistance to find rental housing.