More than 87,000 Mississippians displaced by Hurricane Katrina have taken advantage of the manufactured housing program provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and local officials.
Over 32,000 travel trailers and 400 mobile homes are now occupied by hurricane victims in the state. Most of the travel trailers are placed in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, and Pearl River counties.
In addition, there are approximately 1,016 people occupying 376 temporary housing units that are compliant with or “friendly to” the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Storm victims who may still need housing assistance can follow a simple process to apply for the housing.
Travel trailers and mobile homes are available in two ways to those who meet the program criteria.
1. Residents may be placed in a travel trailer on what is called an emergency group site. This is property leased by FEMA.
2. For those with private property that meets certain requirements for water, sewer, and electrical connections, a travel trailer or mobile home may be placed on the property in accordance with city or county ordinances.
The process for being placed in one of the emergency group sites:
* Call the Helpline (1-800-621-3362) or visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) and make your housing needs known. Evacuees who need an ADA friendly or compliant travel trailer need to be specific about their requirements and can be accommodated.
* A FEMA representative will call the applicant to arrange to fill out the appropriate paperwork and schedule the occupancy date.
The process for having a travel trailer or mobile home placed on private property:
* Call the Helpline (1-800-621-3362) or visit a DRC and make your housing needs known. Evacuees who need an ADA friendly travel trailer, or ADA compliant mobile home, need to be specific about their needs so that can be accommodated.
* Utilities must be available at the site.
* A site inspector must look at your site to make sure it is appropriate for a travel trailer or mobile home.
* After the site is approved and permits obtained, the travel trailer or mobile home will be delivered by a FEMA contractor.
* Once a travel trailer or mobile home is delivered, a FEMA contractor will set up the unit. If a power pole is in place, the applicant must request the local power company to make the utilities connection.
* When the contractor has completed the process of readying the travel trailer or mobile home for the applicant, a FEMA representative will complete the appropriate paperwork and schedule a date to lease the temporary housing to the applicant.
The process of requesting and occupying a travel trailer or mobile home can be time-consuming due to many variables. By following the outlined steps above, a request by affected residents can make its way through the process more quickly.
Federal and state disaster recovery officials urge those who have not done so to apply for disaster assistance as soon as possible by calling the toll-free application number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for speech- or hearing-impaired. Individuals may also apply online at www.fema.gov.
The deadline for new applications for Individual Assistance is March 11, 2006.
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