Posts Tagged ‘federal emergency management’

Nimby Leading Loss of Affordable Housing? County buys MHC to close it

August 28th, 2014 Comments off

google-street-view-nearby-1162-jenny-scyamore-near-closing-evergreen-village-mobile-home-park-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-De Kalb County, Illinois purchased to close “flood prone” Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park in Sycamore, the Daily Chronicle tells MHProNews. “I don’t have much of a choice, because we’re in a flood plain and I can’t fix houses,” the property owner, Frank Santoro said. “I have to accept what they are going to give me.”

The county reportedly paid $1.47 million for the property, which happens to be near Sycamore Golf Course, a community park, Sycamore Family Sports Center and a neighborhood with multifamily rentals, as shown in the first photo.

About 120 mobile or manufactured homes (MH) were once sited on the closing property. One of those families included Robert Baird’s, who was adamant that his family stay in Sycamore, even though they have to move out of Evergreen Village. But dozens of prior residents have had to leave the area, in search of new housing

Superintendent Kathy Countryman said 24 students who attended North Grove school last year moved out of the district, their families going to places like De Kalb or Rochelle.

County leaders secured $7.1 million in state and federal emergency management grants to buy the property, relocate its residents, and return it to open space by June 30. That’s an average cost per household of some $59,166.

As of Monday, the county bought 114 out of 121 mobile homes in Evergreen, according to Paul Miller, county planning, zoning and building director. “We’re focused on helping people find homes,” Miller stated, adding that, “We’re satisfied with those numbers [of closed purchases,] but it’s no time to sit back. We’re going to keep working.”

Numerous questions ought to be raised in studying a “park closure” such as Evergreen Village, including the impact on residents and was this the best use of taxpayer’s money in the light of a growing affordable housing needs nationwide in the U.S..


Certainly NIMBY – ‘not in my back yard’ – is commonly cited as a factor for nearby home owners as they view affordable housing. As manufactured housing professionals know, all other forms of permanent housing are more costly than modern MH. Per the U.S. Census Bureau, the costs for conventional construction are roughly double that of manufactured homes. And as Manufactured Home Living News  readers know, modern manufactured homes feature energy savings, more durability and appeal as well as lower costs. ##

(Photo credits: Google Streetviews and Danielle Guerra, Shaw Media)

FEMA’s Mission Ends in North Dakota

September 25th, 2013 Comments off

Following a story we last posted Nov. 27, 2012 regarding manufactured homes imported into Minot, North Dakota by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to house survivors of the Souris River flood in 2011, the FEMA mission ended Sept. 24 as the last households secured permanent housing. Over 2,000 manufactured homes were brought in to the region as FEMA established three manufactured home communities (MHCs), according to Some of the homes were sited in five existing MHCs, and over 1,100 manufactured homes were placed on private property. As the program wound down, 265 of the housing units were sold to residents for permanent housing. In addition to organizing the housing mission, FEMA assisted Souris Valley residents to the tune of $90 million for repairs to homes, for rent for those whose homes were temporarily uninhabitable. In total, MHProNews understands FEMA provided $400 million in disaster assistance to individuals and local governments as a result of the flooding.

(Photo credit: minotdailynews–Souris River flood aftermath)

FEMA may Bring in Modular Homes for those Displaced by the Flood

September 17th, 2013 Comments off

MHProNews has learned over 6,400 Colorado flood victims have applied for federal aid, and $430,000 has been approved in individual assistance. President Obama made an “emergency” and a “major disaster” declaration for Colorado based on the flooding, which opens the door to tens of millions of dollars in reimbursement to local government as well as to individuals. While the notes the possible Sept. 30 shutdown of the government, there is enough funding available in the disaster relief budget. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Craig Fugate states the housing programs to assist those displaced include repairing existing homes, renting dwellings, and the use of modular homes.

(Photo credit: Denver Post)

Emergency Manufactured Homes may Assist in Colorado Flooding

September 16th, 2013 Comments off

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Chief Craig Fugate met with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and members of the state’s congressional delegation to discuss rebuilding and housing options regarding the over 19,000 buildings and homes damaged, and 1,502 homes destroyed, by the flooding along the Front Range. In addition over 30 highway bridges have been washed out. Fugate offered a fuller analysis of the damage may not be realized for up to three weeks, but according to, FEMA will try to find rental units for those left homeless as it does during catastrophes of this type. If necessary emergency manufactured housing units will be brought in, as MHProNews has learned.

(Photo credit: John Wark/Associated Press–South Platte River near Greeley, Colorado washes out road)

West, Texas Schools using Modular Classrooms

September 12th, 2013 Comments off

The devastating April 17 explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. in West, Texas destroyed the intermediate, high school and parts of the middle school. The West Independent School District (ISD) received $2.75 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to purchase several modular classrooms that will temporarily serve as classrooms. Modular units for the science labs, the band hall, locker rooms and administrative offices should all arrive within two weeks, according to In terms of rebuilding the schools, FEMA offers two options, both related to Hurricane Sandy: Under the pre-Sandy method, there is no limit on the amount received, but there are restrictions on how it is spent; the post-Sandy method, MHProNews has learned, caps the spending but is less restrictive in how the funds are spent, and the money is received up front. The ISD hopes to have all new buildings by fall, 2015.

(Photo credit: Joe Bryksa/–modular classroom)

MHC Residents Protest City, FEMA Decision

August 26th, 2013 Comments off

credit-daily-herald-fox-points-residents-protest-wheeling-il-posted-daily-business-news-manufactured-housing-professional-news-Residents of Fox Point manufactured home community in Wheeling, IL protested the town and FEMA’s actions that could keep them from re-occupying homes damaged in floods last April. The dailyhearld tells MHProNews that about two dozen picketers carried signs reading, “Stop discriminating” and “We are poor, not stupid,” as they delivered a letter to Wheeling village’s president, Dean Argiris, demanding their homes not be destroyed for economic development. “We feel that the damage (in last April’s floods) was minimal and that this is an excuse for the village of Wheeling to force our 41 families out of our homes to be displaced,” said resident Javier Barrera in the letter. A village news release stated that the village’s community development department, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials, along with county and state emergency management agencies performed damage assessments after the April flooding. As a result of the floodway designation, the homes may not be repaired or replaced. ##

(Photo credit: dailyhearld online)

Katrina Cottages may be Heading North

August 5th, 2013 Comments off

The flooding that ravaged Calgary, Alberta, Canada in late June and early July, 2013 has resulted in a housing shortage that one Alderman is seeking to fill using Katrina Cottages. While relatively inexpensive at $115 a foot, the units are also small and easy to assemble. Alderman Druh Farrell would ease regulations so the cottages could be sited in yards adjoining flooded homes until the owners’ have repaired their own homes. “We’ve got students coming back to school in the fall, we have workers (that) are coming to help rebuild our city. Where will they stay?” Farrell asks. “And all the people who’ve been displaced while they’ve been rebuilding their homes — where do they go?” As rvbusiness informs MHProNews, Katrina Cottages were used in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that battered New Orleans, displacing the notorious FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) trailers.

(Photo credit:

FEMA Disaster Housing: Manufactured Homes instead of Park Models

July 11th, 2013 Comments off

A switch by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from Park Model homes to manufactured homes for disaster housing has some FEMA field staff members, among others, shaking their heads. According to the Homeland Security Dept. Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the larger manufactured homes often require siting in existing communities, which will cost FEMA $76 million annually. The Park Models measure 12 feet wide by 33 feet long, are more transportable, have fewer restrictions in terms of siting, can be placed on the property of the family rebuilding their home and are closer to schools. But FEMA points out the manufactured homes are made according to HUD Code, which insures safe levels of formaldehyde, and and are more suitable to longer-term occupancy. As MHProNews has learned from fiercehomelandsecurity, the OIG suggested FEMA bring back a housing option similar to the Park Model, which is less expensive and can be moved more quickly than a manufactured house.

(Photo credit: Russ Desantis/therecord–manufactured homes stored at Six Flags in New Jersey.)

Modular Homes to West, Tex? The City Hopes

July 10th, 2013 Comments off

Bringing modular homes into West, Tex. to people displaced by the April 17, 2013 explosion will cost $10,000 each, which does not include hooking up to utilities. The forty units, as MHProNews reported June 11, 2013, would house two families apiece, but will be available only to residents who are rebuilding for two years. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declined to bring in temporary housing, saying there are sufficient rentals available in the West area. The county can provide manpower and equipment to install the homes, but neither it nor the city has funds to transport the modular units from Killeen, Tex. to West, the wacotrib reports. The city’s Long-Term Recovery Committee Executive Director Karen Bernsen says she wants to bring the residents back closer to where they are rebuilding their homes, and intends to file for state and federal assistance to transport the homes.

(Photo credit: merchantcircle–modular home being sited)

West, Tex. Considers Modular Housing

June 11th, 2013 Comments off

The wacotrib informs MHProNews the city of West, Tex., that was hit with the April 17 fertilizer explosion, is exploring the feasibility of bringing modular units to house the residents displaced by the blast. Each structure would house two families, but would cost $10,000 to haul from Killeen, Tex., not including utility hook-ups. Each dwelling has three bedrooms and a bath, and would be owned by a private company as rentals. Residents could occupy them while their own homes are being rebuilt. Forty are immediately available, each requiring a quarter of an acre, steering the city to seek a ten acre plot where the homes can be sited. West would also have to provide infrastructure for the modular units, including utility lines and roads, both of which are major expenses. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will not help because of the abundance of hotel rooms in the area.

(Photo credit: KBS Systems–modular duplex)