State moves forward with housing solutions for tornado survivors
The State of Mississippi has been approved for direct housing assistance from FEMA to provide Transportable Temporary Housing Units (TTHUs) and other forms of housing for residents displaced due to the March 24th tornadoes. Roughly 250 survivors in the designated counties (Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, Montgomery, Panola, and Sharkey) are currently eligible for direct housing assistance. FEMA personnel are calling qualified applicants regarding their eligibility and moving forward with the next steps of this temporary housing process.
“The state of Mississippi is in this for the long haul – we’re not going anywhere,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “We’ll continue to seek out every available resource to help these communities rebuild and get people back on their feet. FEMA and Samaritan’s Purse have been great partners throughout the recovery process. I’m incredibly thankful to all those around the country who have supported Mississippians in their moment of need.”
“This is a temporary housing solution while residents navigate the rebuild of their home. A long-term housing solution for survivors will take time and effort. Survivors are asked to be patient and consider all avenues when determining what will be best for each family moving forward,” says MEMA Executive Director Stephen McCraney.
Those who’ve already applied for FEMA assistance DO NOT need to apply again for Direct Housing Assistance. FEMA will contact the survivor if they are eligible for direct housing assistance. FEMA will NOT ask for any money. Residents who qualify for direct housing can live in the temporary housing units for up to 18 months.
Along with FEMA Direct Housing, Samaritan’s Purse is helping families in need through its mobile home replacement program. Eligible applicants must meet Samaritan’s Purse criteria, including that the homeowner must be a resident who owned their mobile home or a single-family home that was destroyed by the recent tornadoes and was uninsured or under-insured. The non-profit organization will conduct case management and work directly with survivors.
“Samaritan’s Purse is grateful to be able to help Mississippi families with long-term recovery by offering a mobile home replacement program. We are having these mobile homes specially built to be more durable than the standard. While we can’t make them stormproof, these mobile homes will be rated to withstand Wind Zone III. They will have stronger roofing and floor joists, 2” by 6“ studs with plywood walls, more durable flooring, tempered glass, additional tie-downs, and other enhancements. As we reach out to families, we want them to know that they are not alone—God loves them, and we want to help them get back on their feet after these devastating tornadoes,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse.
“We are extremely grateful to Samaritan’s Purse for assisting citizens with their housing needs. We cannot thank them enough. However, not every survivor will qualify for direct housing or meet Samaritan’s Purse criteria. We’ve identified a new task force to assist those residents and bridge the gap in recovery. These solutions won’t make the survivor whole, but it will get them in the right step in returning to normalcy,” says MEMA State Coordinating Officer Todd DeMuth.
The Mississippi Disaster Housing Task Force is here to help identify resources for those Mississippians who do not qualify for direct housing or Samaritan’s Purse mobile home replacement program. The MS Disaster Housing Task Force, representing a broad group of public and private, local, state, and federal stakeholders, is focused on helping disaster survivors move from temporary housing into permanent homes. Survivors can find a list of resources that are available to them here.
For questions regarding Samaritan’s Purse, call: 828-588-4663
For questions regarding FEMA Direct Housing Assistance, call: 800-621-3362 or check your application status online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
For questions regarding The Mississippi Housing Task Force click here.