Alabama Manufactured Housing Industry to Supply Emergency Housing for Families Displaced by Hurricane HarveyMatt Boster
Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Aug 31 2017 1:18 PM
Montgomery, AL – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has put out a nationwide request for 4,500 emergency housing units to assist families displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Many of those units will be built by manufactured housing plants located in Alabama. “The state of Texas is about to undergo one of the largest recovery-housing missions that the nation has ever seen,” FEMA Administrator Brock Long said during a news conference Monday.
“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.” More than 22,000 families have already begun the process of requesting disaster assistance, including emergency housing. More requests are expected to come in the days ahead. “A lot of our retailers and manufacturing plants are already FEMA contractors, and they have a great deal of experience with building these homes,” said Alabama Manufactured Housing Association Deputy Director, Lance Latham.
There are twelve manufactured housing plants located in Alabama, employing nearly 4,000 people. Last year, those manufacturers produced more than 11,000 homes, not including FEMA units. On average, about 70 percent of manufactured homes built in Alabama are exported to other states.
“Our industry is very strong in Alabama, and because of that we are in a position to help,” said Latham. “As one of the top four states in the country for producing manufactured housing, Alabama is uniquely prepared to meet this need.” FEMA units, like all manufactured homes, are built with the same materials that are used when building traditional site-built homes. But manufacturers save money by buying materials in bulk and using an assembly-line process that avoids costly delays; building the homes in an efficient manner that avoids costs that commonly drive up the price of building a home on site at its final location.
FEMA units can be one, two or three bedroom homes, depending on the applicant’s pre-disaster household composition, and must be handicap accessible. They are federally inspected, and must meet standards set by both FEMA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
While FEMA may also provide rental assistance, FEMA manufactured housing units can be placed on the applicant’s property and can house displaced families for years while their homes are being rebuilt