For sale: Used FEMA mobile homes - KOAM TV 7

For sale: Used FEMA mobile homes

Updated February 22, 2012 by Jordan Aubey:  FEMA auctions off housing units that were used after the May 22 tornado.  The government decided it was less expensive to just sell some units, rather than transport and recommission them.

Thirty-eight units have already been sold.

After the tornado struck Joplin and Duquesne, there were 586 FEMA mobile homes in use as temporary refuge.  Now, that number is down to 470.

At a staging area near Crowder College in Neosho is a total of 115 mobile homes.  Sixty-five of those had been used in a disaster, including 35 mobile homes from Arkansas.

Only the used units will be sold.  The rest will be sent back to FEMA to use elsewhere.

The mobile homes are sold "as is" with some having furnishings like a table, chairs, and bed.

FEMA says its goal is to move current residents out into permanent housing as quick as possible ahead of a November deadline.

The online auction is open to anyone for business or personal use.  To place a bid visithttp://www.gsaauctions.gov/.

Updated August 12, 2011:  Families move in to temporary homes at the FEMA mobile site off of Highway 171.

William Stewart cleans the kitchen at his new home.

His family is one of nearly 500 that will temporarily reside at the FEMA mobile home site.

Stewart says he's concerned about safety in his new neighborhood.

"As many people that are moving in here there's going to be, I know there's going to be some trouble." says Stewart.

To put worries like Stewart's to rest the Joplin Police Department is working with FEMA to install a satellite police station at the site.

Stewart says police presence is necessary.

"Yeah, I definitely feel they should be here. For our protection, not only our protection but the protection of the property you know vandalism stuff like that." says Stewart.

The Joplin Police Department says when a high number of people live in one area extra enforcement is crucial.

"The main things we worry about are neighbors, just being good neighbors getting along with each other. Our main concern is to try and maintain the peace there, and try to help out with some typical neighborhood issues." says LT. Matt Stewart, JPD.

JPD does not anticipate major problems at the site.

The officers will provide support for families who have dealt with the high stress of being displaced by the storm.

"A lot of what they're going to be doing is holding community meetings. Getting out there and getting to know the residents and just try to help them build that positive relationship." says LT. Stewart.

And although the satellite station isn't there yet JPD's presence is already felt.

"There were two units patrolling the area last night so. At least they're showing their face around here which is good. I like that." says William Stewart.

FEMAsays right now their priority is getting families moved in to the site.

They expect the temporary police station to be installed within the next several weeks.

Updated July 28, 2011 by Angela Hartman:  Joplin city officials announce more FEMA mobile units will be installed at Hope Haven and Jeff Taylor Field off Highway 171.  The units are being set up for storm survivors.

Joplin city officials announce that an additional 135 FEMA mobile units will be installed at the sites now known as Hope Haven and Jeff Taylor Fields.

Crews work around the clock to ready these units for families.

FEMA officials say storm shelters will be transported to this site by the end of next week.

Residents will be able to move in soon after  tornado shelters arrive.

Families will be given 18 months to call this temporary site home.

At the end of that time Joplin city officials say they have other plans for this land.

"If you remember one of the primary locations if not the number one location that council was considering in terms of the public safety center," says Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr.  "So obviously there's a different use now.  We're firmly committed to the 18 month period and the long term plans are to consider that seriously and to get council approval for that to be the location for the public safety training center."

Nearly 500 mobile homes will be set up on the site.

The City of Joplin will work with the Missouri Department of Transportation to resolve traffic issues on 171.

Updated July 23, 2011 by Lindsey Henry:  12 FEMA homes make their way to Joplin and that means hundreds of Joplin families will now have new place to call home. 

The first load of FEMA mobile homes drive into Joplin, marking a hopeful day for hundreds of families.

Clifford Owens, tornado survivor, says, "I'm so looking forward to it."

Clifford Owens, his wife and five kids have been living in a tent since Memorial Day weekend and are soon going to be calling a FEMA mobile home their new home.

"There's hot days, there is really hot days, sometimes I just wish I had a home where I could go back and kick back and watch the TV," says Owens

Owens misses his quality time watching movies with his wife the most

Their home was destroyed in the tornado and their uncle lent them his property off Shoal Creek
since then that property has become the home to many tornado survivors.  Something these FEMA trailers hope to change. 

Workers are now drilling, lifting and laying the foundation for the FEMA mobile home site off Highway 171.

Once the bases are set, the buildings are strapped to the group. 12 will be finished by the end of the day, 67 by the end of next week and 346 in total by the beginning of September.

Priority housing will be given to families with school aged children, families like the Owens.

"Before school starts our priority is trying to get families with small children, school aged children, small children into a housing situation so that the kids will have enough time to adjust before school starts," says FEMA worker Susie Stoner.

Leaving the Owens excited for the future.

"The day they say, come and sign the lease, I'm going to be jumping for joy," says Owens.

FEMA has identified 624 families in need of housing as affects from the tornado.

Updated July 22, 2011 by Angela Hartman:  Construction nears completion at the FEMA temporary housing site known as Hope Haven Field.  It is one of two sites where nearly 350 FEMA mobile homes will be set up.

On Saturday 12 of the first units will be transported from Camp Crowder to Jefferson Memorial Field.

Backhoes and excavators are preparing the ground for the mobile home pads.  Sewer, water, and electric lines are being installed as well.  Wheelchair ramps will be available for those with special needs.  There will also be around ten storm shelters at each site.

FEMA officials say the inspection process will take around three days.

"You want to make sure everything's working - the electric, the air conditioning is working because it can get hot, especially in this heat," says Pamela Willis of FEMA.  "It's just part of the process.  We're here to make sure that they have a safe and secure place to live.  We're going to do 67, which is our first phase.  Once we get all 67 units to occupy we'll start moving families into those."

The Missouri Department of Transportation says they'll be installing a temporary traffic light on 171 at Prairie Flower Road.  The City of Joplin is working with FEMA to consider other possible options to alleviate traffic in this area.

But neither the Missouri Department of Transportation nor the City of Joplin have talked about improvements to Stone's Corner.

Updated July 5, 2011 by Lisa Olliges: Six hundred and forty-six families need temporary housing and on Tuesday officials kicked off a fast-paced construction plan for two FEMA modular home parks.

One will sit alongside Prairie Flower Road on property across from the airport.

It's called the Jeff Taylor Memorial Park to honor the sacrifice of the officer killed by lightning while working after the tornado.

A second modular home lot, called Hope Haven, will be located on the south end of the property.

Residents will enter it from either Highway 171, which is getting a left turn lane, or from the south.  The road will be extended through to Fountain Road.

Crews will spend the next three weeks working around the clock to add water and sewer lines, electric, phone and cable.  But say they look forward to it.

"We've been spending-spent the past month and a half out on sites removing destroyed homes and communities - this is our first project where we get to build something which is what we're good at," says Col. Daniel Patton, Commander of the Recovery Field Office.

All of the modular homes built across from the airport are expected to have three bedrooms and one bath.

Families with children in school are likely to be placed there first.  Smaller units will be available for single occupancy residents, possibly at other home park locations.

News release issued by FEMA

Columbia, Mo. - Eligible tornado survivors unable to find other forms of housing will soon be able to occupy temporary housing in two community sites beginning construction south of the Joplin Regional Airport.

City of Joplin and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials, with the Corps of Engineers, conducted a briefing Tuesday, July 5, on land just south of the Joplin Regional Airport, off Highway 171. On that field, the agency will construct two mobile home communities that could accommodate up to 346 manufactured housing units.

"The start of this project is a significant step forward in the Joplin area disaster recovery," said Joplin City Manager R. Mark Rohr. "Providing housing for the families who were displaced due to the May 22 tornado is important, because these families are ready to regain a sense of normalcy in their daily lives. Sitting down for a meal as a family or putting your kids to bed in their own rooms, may seem to be the simple things in life, but during disasters, they are some of the most important things in life. With these units, they will have those opportunities. And it's with the assistance of the federal government that this can happen for Joplin residents."

The City of Joplin has provided the land at no cost to FEMA to house survivors of the May 22 EF-5 tornado. The HUD-approved manufactured housing units are three-bedroom, one-bath, all-electric homes. Models meeting federal accessibility standards will be provided to families who indicate they need them. FEMA will pay all utilities except for cable and phone, but connections for those are available in the units.

"We understand the critical need to help the survivors of the devastating tornado that struck Joplin May 22," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Libby Turner. "We tasked the Corps of Engineers to build this project as quickly as possible and we also expedited the environmental review process to be able to begin this project in a timely manner."

With an eye to the future, infrastructure built for the parks will be left for city use when the temporary housing program has finished.

FEMA has mission-assigned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to oversee the design and development of the communities and manage the construction. Construction will occur on both sites simultaneously. For the first couple of weeks, work will go on 24 hours a day. Each park will be built in phases. As Phase One is completed, families will be able to move in while construction continues on the rest of the park. To ensure the safety of families moving into the units, security will be provided and the completed sections will be fenced off from those still under construction.

Occupants of the housing must be eligible for FEMA assistance and provide FEMA with information on what they will be doing to find permanent housing. The community sites provide housing up to 18 months dating from the May 9 disaster declaration.

The mobile home communities are only one aspect of the Housing Assistance portion of FEMA's Individuals and Households Program. Housing assistance provides rental assistance or funds for essential home repairs for those whose primary homes have been damaged or destroyed. FEMA staff continues to search for available rental resources and to assess commercial mobile home parks for available pads and lease those that are suitable. Seventy (70) families currently occupy housing units placed by FEMA in commercial parks. 

Registration for FEMA assistance has been extended to July 29. Anyone who has not yet registered for assistance should do so using one of these options:

Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov,

By smartphone through m.FEMA.gov,

By phone at FEMA's toll-free registration line 800-621-FEMA (3362).

Individuals with hearing or speech impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585, or use 711 or  Video Relay Service (VRS) to call 1-800-621-3362.

Telephone registration is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., every day.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA disaster loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY call 1-800-462-7585; or use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) to call 1-800-621-3362.

Updated June 21, 2011 by Lindsey Henry:  FEMA has designated a number of areas for mobile homes, including an open field across from the Joplin airport already owned by the city.

Hundreds of displaced families will find homes at this temporary mobile home park.

"We hope to start putting the first units on site in the middle of July and then a week or so after that start bringing in the families," says Pamela Willis of FEMA.  "We are going to do what is called a phase out approach where the Army Corp builds it, then turns over so many pads to FEMA, then we can issue the hauling and stalling placements of the units, then they'll be hauling and stalling the units while we are still finishing up."

The mobile homes will be furnished with basic needs things like beds, fridges, couches, bathrooms and air conditioning.  The homes are the next step for many trying to get back on their feet.

"The FEMA, state and the local priority is right up there with the debris removal, is getting people housed so they can start back with some normalcy of, you know, living and also bringing the community back as a whole," says Willis.  "It starts that road to recovery."

For Franklin Gregory of Joplin it's the next best thing to being home.  He lost his home and for now he's living at the Red Cross shelter at Webb City Junior High.

"I'm about as antsy as I can be," says Gregory.  "There's an awful lot of damage out there and an awful lot of families still searching for homes and around here, they are not available.  Now with the 300 homes, there will be."

Reported June 15, 2011:  Help in the form of mobile housing is rolling into Joplin.

This morning we took a look inside one of the temporary housing units provided by FEMA.

Each unit, brought in from Alabama, features three bedrooms, one bath, and is fully furnished.

Eligible tornado victims can live in the trailers rent-free, including utilities, for up to 18 months.

Reported June 11, 2011:  FEMA trailers arrive in Neosho offering displaced Joplin residents temporary housing.

FEMA officials pulled ten trailers so far into camp Crowder in Neosho.

The trailers are fully furnished equipped with three bedrooms and one bathroom and capable of comfortably housing a family of four.

Residents who get them will be responsible for utilities and before they can move in  the trailers must be inspected by FEMA officials.

Russ EdmonstonFEMA Spokesperson For Tornado Relief says, "We do five inspections really, We like to make sure that that the transportation of the these units hasn't damaged anything, if there is damage than the contractor hauls it and repairs it."

And more will come later.

62 people sheltered at Missouri Southern will get preference for the trailers.

Reported June 9, 2011 by Angela Garcia:  Some displaced families are still waiting for a place to call home.  FEMA responds to this need with their first shipment of temporary housing units set to arrive this weekend.

But the homes are not a permanent solution.  Residents who qualify for FEMA trailers can only stay there for a maximum of 18 months.

Severe storms and high winds are a major threat to mobile structures.  Some residents in need of housing say safety is a concern but they are just happy to have FEMA's support.

"It's great, great because otherwise without that I don't know where we'd be," says Lois Kain. 

"I mean I feel safe to an extent," says Fallon Walker, "except for the fact of it being a trailer and the whole tornado."

It's vacant lots that FEMA officials say they're looking to fill with some of their mobile units.  But as one landlord tells us, space is limited.

FEMA has been referring the majority of displaced citizens to rental properties but vacancies are now few and far between.

One FEMA official says anyone planning to live in a temporary manufactured home should have a plan for future storms.

"You can go to Ready.gov on our website and there are excellent advisements on how to prepare yourself during a storm if you're on a mobile home or something like that," says FEMA spokesperson Russ Edmonston.  "That's good for anybody, but basically the idea is that nobody should stay in a manufactured unit when a threat comes like that."

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