600 Florence-displaced families listed for temporary housing
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Nine North Carolina families left homeless by Hurricane Florence have received temporary housing from the federal government while 600 families remain on a waiting list for the travel trailers and mobile homes, officials said Friday.
Ten travel trailers have been set up for nine families in Duplin, Onslow and Pender counties with one family needing two of trailers, said Keith Acree, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety. Two mobile homes were expected to be set up Friday, he said.
The temporary housing is available to people in the 10 counties where the Federal Emergency Management Agency has determined there isn’t enough rental housing. Including three that already have trailers, they are: Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Jones, New Hanover, and Robeson counties.
Florence made landfall Sept. 14 in North Carolina, and people were still being rescued from their homes on Sept. 26, said Albie Lewis, the FEMA coordinator in North Carolina. Sixteen days later, the first families are getting temporary housing, he said.
“So we have moved incredibly fast on that,” Lewis said at a news conference Friday.
Most families will receive travel trailers, although some, such as people with special needs, will get mobile homes, he said. Most of the units will be placed at the victims’ homes, while a few will be placed elsewhere, he said.
“These housing units are temporary,” Lewis said. “They’re not meant for long-term. They are a step toward that longer-term recovery.”
People can stay in the mobile units for up to 18 months, he said.
The government isn’t setting up trailer parks with hundreds of units as it did after Hurricane Floyd inundated North Carolina in 1999, Acree said. And while people refer to the units as “FEMA trailers,” they’re actually units FEMA buys from commercial vendors, just as any individual would do, Lewis said.
As of Friday, 127,000 victims have registered for FEMA assistance, and FEMA has approved $102 million in individual assistance grants, Lewis said. The Small Business Administration has approved almost $200 million in loans for homeowners and businesses, he said, and the National Flood Insurance Program has paid out $214 million in claims.
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