The following is a review of housing recovery developments related to Hurricanes Florence and Michael since last week’s Memo to Members and Partners (for the article in last week’s Memo, see 10/29). NLIHC also posts this information at our On the Home Front blog.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will stop collecting “Right of Entry” forms for Operation Blue Roof on November 11 at 6:00 PM local time. Installations of Blue Roofs (blue tarps) will continue until they are complete.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon, and Representative Neal Dunn (R-FL) spoke with local leaders in Panama City on October 31about recovery efforts. A tweet from Secretary Carson states that HUD “will speed federal disaster assistance to FL & provide support to homeowners & low-income renters who were forced from their homes.”
Local Perspectives & Resources
To help get schools in the Panhandle back open, Bay District Schools will provide teachers and other school staff with on-site child care.
The Florida Association of Centers for Independent Living (FACIL) sent a letter to Governor Rick Scott on October 30 asking him to address the unmet needs and civil rights violations of people with disabilities impacted by Hurricane Michael. Many individuals left behind medicine or mobility aids that allow them to live independently. FACIL asks Governor Scott for additional resources to ensure the 40,000–150,000 households with at least one family member with a disability are not unlawfully institutionalized. Groups in the Panhandle have already seen people with disabilities moved from living independently to nursing homes, a violation of their civil rights.
The Bay County commissioner told local media that approximately 50,000 people in the county have applied for assistance with FEMA, but only 100 have been approved for some type of direct housing assistance.
An additional 34 counties in Georgia are now eligible for Public Assistance grants.
Survivors in Chatham, Durham, and Guilford counties are now eligible for Individual Assistance (IA) through FEMA. Displaced residents in Bladen, Lenoir, and Pamlico counties are now eligible for temporary housing in either travel trailers or manufactured homes.
FEMA issued a final notice to the public stating that it will place temporary housing units on commercial and/or private land located in or affecting a floodplain or wetland. The initial notice was published on September 27 for comment. FEMA will immediately begin to place the housing units in the 13 counties approved for direct temporary housing assistance.
The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance has been extended to December 13.
Residents in Chatham, Durham, and Gilford counties are now eligible for USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). Residents in 27 other counties were already eligible for these benefits.
The North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management estimates that Hurricane Florence caused nearly $17 billion in damage, an increase from a previous estimate of $13 billion. The agency will continue to update the estimate as new information becomes available.
Local Perspectives & Resources
Hurricane Florence caused a housing shortage at several military bases in the Carolinas, leaving more than 100 veterans and their families with 30 days to leave their homes to make space for displaced active duty service members. The Atlantic Marine Corp Communities property management company reports that nearly 70% of its inventory sustained at least some damage and 150 homes were completely destroyed.
The Salvation Army in North Carolina received a $150,000 grant from the N.C. Disaster Relief Fund to help displaced families find housing. The organization is focusing on helping those who lost their jobs due to the hurricane.
The mayors of Wilmington, Surf City, and New Bern and officials from Pender County traveled to Washington, DC this week to continue to push for additional hurricane relief. They met with officials from FEMA, SBA, HUD, and the Departments of Transportation and Education.