The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) kicked off its Temporary Housing Unit program in Louisiana with the donation of mobile homes to Strike II Ministries on Wed., March 7, 2007.
The Temporary Housing Unit program is designed to donate temporary housing units to states, local governments and nonprofit, voluntary organizations with 501(c)(3) certification so they can provide temporary housing to eligible disaster victims. Under this arrangement, the units become the property of the organizations on the condition that they are used to house the disaster victims for one year after the delivery of the unit or up to 18 months after a disaster declaration, whichever is longer. If the agency complies with all of the policy and procedures, the unit may become the property of the agency.
Two Louisiana agencies are currently participating in the Temporary Housing Unit program. The first recipient, Strike II Ministries, is a nonprofit that provides outreach in the local community. The voluntary organization initially focused on youth, but after Hurricane Katrina, began providing basic services to needy families within the region.
“We are all neighbors, and we have to extend that helping hand to keep growing as a society,” said Dwayne Sumner, CFO of Strike II Ministries. “Prior to Hurricane Katrina, we focused on giving youth a second chance. Katrina was devastating to everyone, though, and with being able to provide housing to people in need, we have a new avenue to provide assistance to people in the community.”
Strike II Ministries chose Susie Cambre, an employee of the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, as the first person to receive one of the donated trailers.
“We have slept in 37 beds since Katrina, and we are so excited to finally have our own home,” said Cambre.
Temporary housing units are considered for donation by priority order of availability, beginning with used travel trailers, mobile homes or modular housing; rehabilitated units (mobile homes, travel trailers or modular housing); unused mobile homes or modular housing; and, finally, unused travel trailers.
FEMA will deliver all units requested by each agency to that agency’s staging area site identified by the organization. The recipient organization must assume legal responsibility for the units and agree to assume all other costs associated with installation, use, maintenance, permitting and utilities, deactivation and eventual disposition. The recipient organization must also agree to obtain and maintain hazard insurance on each unit and flood insurance when applicable.
Interested entities should submit a letter of interest to FEMA’s Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office directed to the Individual Assistance Section Chief (1 Seine Court, New Orleans, LA 70114) requesting the number of units and a brief summary of the disaster victim(s) who will be housed in the unit(s).
Complete donation request packages will be processed in the order that the completed applications are received.