Governor Creates Group to Tackle Hurricane Housing Crisis

By: Victoria Langley
By: Victoria Langley

Gov. Jeb Bush is creating a hurricane housing work group to try to get families into temporary homes.

A bureaucratic backlog is blamed for the more than 2,000 people still without a roof over their heads. The problem is made worse by a shortage of affordable, permanent, homes.

Some 2,500 people are still waiting for temporary housing after their homes were damaged or destroyed during Florida’s four hurricanes.

Gov. Jeb Bush says a pledge made by the feds to have everyone in temporary housing by Thanksgiving may not come true, and he’s frustrated.

“We need to connect the supply they have, to the demand, the people that need it, has been a little cumbersome to be honest with you and we’re pushing them hard.”

The Florida Manufactured Housing Association has a contract with FEMA and spokesman Mike Williams says they’re cranking out single-wides as fast as they can, but it hasn’t gone smoothly.

“There’s a lot of it is bureaucracy and getting through all the red tape and getting people who are qualified, letting them know they are actually, the paperwork needed and getting them through the process. “

FEMA has streamlined its process and Jeb Bush says the feds are now moving in 150 trailers a day.

The governor has also created a hurricane housing working group to cut through red tape, determine the best use of state and federal dollars pouring in to help victims, and do a better job of matching available housing with people who need it.

Many of the thousands of homes that were destroyed are the older trailer homes that are so common in Florida. Once the temporary housing crisis is solved, the problem becomes getting that family into a permanent home they can afford.

Manufactured housing may be part of the solution. The challenge will be helping people buy them when they’ve lost jobs, cars, and in some cases everything they own.


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