FEMA Temporarily Houses Florence Victims

Oct 19, 2018

The first families to get temporary housing after Hurricane Florence are now in RVs or mobile homes, but FEMA says as many as 600 families are still waiting for housing assistance from the federal government.

The RVs and mobile homes are going to disaster victims in 10 counties where the Federal Emergency Management Agency has determined there are not enough rental properties available. FEMA officer Albie Lewis stressed Friday that RVs are a short-term fix.

"We look at a travel trailer with the objective of trying to get them back into an apartment or their home within about six months," he said. "However, it can take up to 18 months, and that's the time limit we've put on it, so it's a year and a half.

Lewis added the plan favors RVs because there are fewer restrictions on how they can be used.

"Being able to move them and place them is much easier," he said. "And furthermore, as custodians of the taxpayers' dollars, it's much more in line with putting folks in a temporary travel trailer unit than the far more expensive mobile homes."

Governor Roy Cooper's budget director estimated a total of 160,000 North Carolinians have needed some kind of temporary housing after Florence. Cooper has signed a bill that includes nearly $800 million in disaster relief.

FEMA has processed more than $200 million in flood insurance claims so far.