Housing still a mighty need in St. Charles and St. John
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The recovery effort is well underway in St. Charles and St. John Parishes, but there is still a great need for assistance.
In a meeting with FEMA, parish and state leaders expressed their needs and concerns as the recovery process continues.
The FEMA Director says about 80% of the storm debris has been cleared and they’re working on the process of rebuilding communities stronger for future storms. Both parish presidents said mitigation for these communities and upgrading critical infrastructure is extremely important.
“We will need some assistance with mitigating future losses whether it’s through assisting homeowners with elevation and any other mitigation they will need to do if their homes have been substantially damaged and they will be required to mitigate those future losses,” says St. John the Baptist Parish President Jacyln Hotard.
The state-run temporary housing program is up and running, which did not exist a month ago. Now, 2,000 travel trailers have been purchased and 338 of them were deployed. Officials say 158 families are now in those units.
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However, the need for housing continues. FEMA’s temporary housing program is still getting ruled out and the FEMA Director predicts thousands will need it.
“We have licensed in the first few occupants into housing but our housing program does take time... and that’s why we’re partnering with the state on their sheltering program. It’s why we have the temporary housing program, where we utilize hotels to help create that bridge to where we can get direct housing and those temporary units in place,” says FEMA Director Deanne Criswell.
FEMA says it’s looking at possibly creating group sites where hundreds of residents live, along with housing on available land for individual families. FEMA says it’s engaged and the federal government will continue to work with parish and state leaders.
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