The following is a review of additional disaster housing recovery developments since the last edition of Memo to Members and Partners (for the article in the previous Memo, see 5/6).
2018 California Wildfires
FEMA issued an FAQ page on manufactured housing units and FEMA temporary housing.
The California Department of Housing and Community Development released a Notice of Funding Availability for approximately $100 million in CalHome Program funds to assist 12 counties impacted by 2017 and 2018 disasters.
New data released by California’s Department of Finance shows a dramatic change in housing stock and population following the Camp Fire. The fire was the most destructive in state history, destroying 1,400 homes - 90% of Paradise’s housing stock - and displacing 83% of the population. Most survivors relocated to the neighboring cities of Chico and Oroville.
A story from NPR reports that more than 1,000 mostly low-income families are still searching for temporary housing following the Camp Fire. These survivors have received little if any assistance from FEMA and are often forced to rely on other community members.
Florida’s legislature secured $240 million in the budget for Hurricane Michael recovery. Representative Jay Trumbull estimated that $600 million is necessary to rebuild and said more aid is expected from FEMA. A Government Technology “Emergency Management” article provides a breakdown of the funds delivered to Bay County.
Bay County leaders approved a deal to obtain 50 FEMA trailers for Hurricane Michael survivors. The County will provide these trailers with less stringent eligibility requirements compared to FEMA’s. County Commission Chairman Philip Griffitts does not yet know when the trailers will become available but expect them soon. City Manager Mark McQueen said previously he hopes the city can get up to 250 surplus trailers.
The Orlando Sentinel published an op-ed by Diane Yentel, NLIHC president and CEO, discussing the Trump administration’s slow and inadequate response to Hurricane Michael. President Trump held a reelection rally in Panama City – where hundreds of people remain homeless following the storm – on May 8.
Residents of Jervay Place Apartments in Wilmington were told efforts to repair storm-damaged homes would take 3-6 months, but tenants have now been displaced for 9 months. Jervay tenant Acquanetta McNeil addressed Wilmington’s City Council on May 7 to request help and called on policymakers to develop a long-term affordable housing plan.
Mobile home park residents in Robeson County have raised concerns about private mobile park owners hiking rents as much as 200% in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Many former residents have moved in with family members or left the area entirely.
Housing conditions for Florida’s largest farmworker community have worsened since Hurricane Irma. The nonprofit Immokalee Fair Housing Alliance, comprised of Peace River Presbytery, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and other concerned churches and nonprofits, is responding by raising funds to build up to 144 affordable apartments on 10 acres located at Lake Trafford Road and 19th Street.