PHILADELPHIA, PA – November 29, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today the approval of a request from the state of West Virginia to extend FEMA’s temporary disaster housing program from November 15, 2010 to February 15, 2011.
The extension allows families to continue living rent-free in FEMA-provided disaster housing units in Mingo and Wyoming Counties for an additional three months, while they work to achieve permanent housing. During this period, FEMA will continue to assist them with the transition from temporary to permanent housing.
A presidential disaster declaration was issued on May 15, 2009, as a result of severe storms that struck areas of the state on May 3, 2009, triggering federal aid through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program. Through this program, disaster-related housing assistance was made available for up to 18 months after the disaster declaration, for eligible individuals displaced from their pre-disaster primary residences.
FEMA has provided housing and other needs assistance (since May 2009) to 2,875 applicants, totaling nearly $14 million in federal aid. As of today, 46 families are living temporarily rent-free in FEMA housing in West Virginia. Of these, 44 are residing in mobile homes and two are living in park model units.
The original closing date of the disaster housing program was November 15, 2010. In close coordination with the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, FEMA approved the extension request due to a number of factors presented by the state, including the depressed economic conditions of the impacted counties, scarcity of rental resources and subsequent harsh winter weather that prevented repairs to damaged homes.
In accordance with the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act — the principal federal legislation governing disaster assistance — FEMA’s temporary housing assistance is provided for a period of up to 18 months from the date of the disaster declaration. If needs remain unmet at that time, the state may request a program extension or other alternatives may be pursued to transition the housing assistance to local jurisdictions so that applicants continue to receive assistance without interruption until assistance ends.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from