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VP Mike Pence, Industry Voices Sound Off on Manufactured Housing Relief for Harvey Victims

August 31st, 2017 Comments off
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Featured image credit, CNN.

The state of Texas is about to undergo one of the largest recovery-housing missions that the nation has ever seen,” Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long said during a news conference Monday. “It’s a long process. Housing is going to be very frustrating in Texas. We have to set the expectations.”

Since last Friday the Daily Business News has been tracking Hurricane Harvey, the devastation left in its wake, and what it could mean for manufactured housing.

What was originally estimated to be just under $40 billion in damages has quickly turned into $100 billion or more, per Newsmax.

The Daily Business News has also reported that FEMA is already gearing up for what Long estimates could be years trying to rectify housing needs in Texas.

Once you start to wrap up the life safety mission and you’re moving citizens who may be trapped or isolated, you’re trying to get them to a shelter, you’re trying to minimize the time that they spend in that shelter,” said Long.

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Brock Long, Administrator of FEMA. Image credit, Congressional Fire Services Institute.

As the search and rescue phase begins to draw to a close, thousands of households are thinking in terms of long-term shelters. FEMA’s goal is to support Texas – and now Louisiana – to get storm victims out of shelters and into some form of semi-permanent or permanent housing near their communities and jobs, as much as possible.

Housing is going to be very frustrating in Texas,” Long said. “And we have to set the expectations. But we already have disaster housing assessment teams on site. We’re already working very proactively with the state.”

Those who have no financial means to obtain new housing will have access to disaster assistance, which will find them accommodations at motels or apartments.

So far, more than 22,000 have begun the application process for emergency disaster assistance, per USA Today.

The goal of this is, if we can’t put you back in your home because it’s destroyed or because the floodwaters are there and are going to be there a while, we want to get you out of the long-term sheltering,” Long said.

FEMA’s Manufactured Homes Will Be an Option for Thousands Displaced by the Storm

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Vice President Mike Pence. Image credit, Wikipedia.

Thousands of manufactured homes are pre-positioned to respond,” said Vice President Mike Pence to Sean Hannity on his radio show.

FEMA says that this time, manufactured homes are being used as a last resort accommodation, when there are no longer hotels or apartments available for housing.

The last resort is to bring in manufactured homes and travel trailers,” Long said.

But that is a long process,” he added. “We don’t start dragging in manufactured homes and travel trailers right off the bat. They’re not going to be on your property tomorrow by any means.”

While Long said that they will bring in manufactured housing, but will also use travel trailers, at least one industry professional is questioning the accuracy of that statement.

Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) says he thinks that inaccurate.

Well, they’re lumping manufactured housing in with RVs, which is wrong factually and also not FEMA policy as I understand it.  That policy is to use federally regulated HUD Code housing and not RVs,” Weiss told MHProNews.

In his interview with Hannity, Vice President Pence added that manufactured homes would be available sooner “thanks to president Trump signing a disaster declaration before the storm even hit.”

Pence used the correct terminology each time he spoke about the issue of manufactured homes.  A HUD Code producer in Indiana, where Pence was governor, told MHProNews that the vice-president he was “well informed” on the issues, including the use of proper nomenclature.

Another source concurred.

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Credits, IMHA, MHProNews.com.

Vice President Pence is well versed in manufactured housing,”  Ronald L. Breymier, Executive Director, Indiana Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) told MHProNews.He is originally from Columbus, Indiana and even before he was elected Governor he was familiar with our industry due to a friendship with one IMHA-RVIC’s board members (now deceased) who owned manufactured housing communities. As Governor he was sensitive to and responsive to Indiana’s manufactured housing industry.”

Logistics

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Weiss told MHProNewsthat saying that MH are the last resort may reflect the practical logistical reality of getting manufactured homes into the disaster zone in significant numbers, right away.”

Texas MHA Will Help Provide Housing

FEMA is not the only ones who will be working to provide housing for the Texans who lost their homes in this devastating natural disaster.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, numerous private and corporate groups, and the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) are all among also doing what they can to help residents get back into homes as soon as possible.

TMHA has pledged to help in both the immediate future and long term rebuilding efforts to come.  We are organizing within our membership ranks to prepare in the event our industry, in particular, came play a role in the recovery efforts,” the association told MHProNews in a release.

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Texas Manufactured Housing Association. Image credit, TMHA.

TMHA has asked retailers and communities to take stock of their inventories should they be asked about help housing those who were displaced. They said they have not been asked yet, but have been in the past.

Gus Rodriguez of Tejas Homes, near Conroe, TX was among the retailers that told MHProNews that they were gearing up to assist flood victims looking for housing.  The retailer indicated that they closed during the heaviest parts of the storm, but were re-opening and ready to go with a good level of inventory.

 

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FEMA manufactured homes that were used in Minnesota after flooding. Image credit, FEMA.

President Trump Thanks Everyone for Working Together

Earlier this week, the White House Press Room told MHProNews that, Today, President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will travel to Corpus Christi, Texas, where they will receive a briefing on Hurricane Harvey relief efforts with local leadership and relief organizations. In the afternoon, the President and the First Lady will tour the Emergency Operations Center in Austin, Texas.”

During the storm briefing, Trump commended everyone in his cabinet for working so hard and so well together to provide Texans with everything they need to get through this terrible time. The full video of the briefing is below.

Louisiana and the LMHA

At this point our thoughts remain with those in Texas that are experiencing what we here in Louisiana felt 12 years ago. We remain ready to assist in any way we can,”  said Leonard Kopowski with the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association to MHProNews.

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Leonard Kopowski. Credit: MHLivingNews.

 

As far as Louisiana, early reports show nearly 2,000 houses affected and 5,000 residents displaced.  The LMHA will stands ready to serve those seeking new homes for their families,” Kopowski said.

Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding continues in southeastern Texas and portions of southwestern Louisiana,” the National Weather Service said in an advisory this morning. “Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses, as well as other drainage areas and low-lying spots.” ## (News.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is FEMA Prepared for Hurricane Harvey Recovery?

August 29th, 2017 Comments off
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Featured image credit, CNN, text credit, MHProNews.

FEMA is going to be there for years,” Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” in regards to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Long added, “This disaster is going to be a landmark event.”

Hurricane Harvey made landfall last Friday night, between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor, Texas. It hit as a category 4 hurricane, per CNN.

Earlier on Friday, the Daily Business News had reported that the storm was expected to do $36.9 billion in damages if it had made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane.

MH Retailer North of Houston

MHProNews heard from a retailer north of Houston that indicated they had temporarily closed their sales center during the deluge.

They expected to reopen Wednesday or Thursday to brisk business.

Flooding, Destruction 

At this time a more accurate estimate for the damage is unavailable, as the storm is an ongoing event. Considering the storm made landfall as a Category 4 not 3, and the damage is extensive, as the videos below from CNN reveal.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has reminded residents to follow all local weather warnings and says that the Trump Administration has been accommodating throughout the events of the last week.

I’ve talked to President Trump several times, as well as his Cabinet members and his officials, and especially the head of FEMA,” said Abbott. “And we’ve made multiple requests, and we’re getting absolutely everything we need.”

When asked in the CNN interview whether or not FEMA was prepared to stay in Texas for “months on end,” Long replied saying, “We’re setting up and gearing up for the next couple years.”

Damage from Hurricane Harvey goes beyond what was caused by high winds. Much of the damage has been caused by flooding, with people escaping their homes through second story windows and even through holes in the roof – as you saw in the video above.

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Brock Long, Administrator of FEMA. Image credit, Congressional Fire Services Institute.

The state has seen more rain in a few days than they normally see in a year, with The Weather Channel estimating 50 inches of rainfall before the rain finally subsides.

I’m asking for all citizens to get involved here,” Long said. “Donate your money, figure out how you can get involved as we help Texas find a new normal going forward after this devastating disaster.”

FEMA also put up a page today that provides safety tips and emergency numbers for Texans.

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Tragic Events Outline Opportunity for Manufactured Housing

There are an estimated 30,000 people in need of shelter after losing their homes to the storm, per ABC News.

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Manufactured housing Units – designed for FEMA, called MHUs – will be an expected part of the FEMA response. Given the extraordinary damage expected, will FEMA reach out to retailers, as they did during Louisiana flooding? Photo credit, WAFB.

Though the circumstances are tragic, it’s an opportunity for the manufactured housing industry to once more step up to the plate, and provide assistance to those in need.

 

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Damage from Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Notice that manufactured homes in the background seem to be stable, while these RVs have tipped over. Image credit, Washington Times.

Hurricane Harvey was the strongest storm to make landfall in the U.S. in a decade, per The Queensland Times. The destruction it has caused has been significant, and the flooding won’t stop until well after the rain does.

Whether the recovery for the state takes months, or years, it is a long road ahead for the cities in Texas affected by the storm.

The Austin-American Statesman reports that Gov. Abbott gave the Trump administration an “A-plus” for its response to Hurricane Harvey, saying “all across the board, from the White House to the federal administration to FEMA, they’ve been very helpful.”  The president is expected to make a visit today to the flood ravaged state.

This is a storm that the United States has not seen yet,” Long said. ## (News, analysis.)

Related: What Will Cost Be For Hurricane Harvey’s Recovery?

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.