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After Hurricane Harvey: Will FEMA Trailers Ever Arrive?

Wiki Commons | http://bit.ly/2CLhOXP
Mark Wolf
Travel trailers are used by FEMA for temporary housing in some disaster areas.

Only a small percentage of households impacted by Hurricane Harvey have been awarded a federal travel trailer or RV from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or Texas’ General Land Office.

State and local officials have been extremely critical of FEMA and of the General Land Office, the state agency which oversees federal disaster housing needs for the state. But officials from those agencies said the low numbers have more to do with homeowner eligibility than they do with the bureaucratic process.

Nearly 900,000 households from Beaumont, Houston and down the Texas coastline have registered for some type of assistance related to Hurricane Harvey.

But according to FEMA’s Kevin Hannes, only about 1,100 households received an RV or FEMA travel trailer to use as their homes are repaired. He said the numbers have a lot to do with a homeowner not knowing the federal eligibility requirements.

“Let me speak about what that $17,000 of FEMA verified loss represents: It is not for the full loss of the home, it is to ensure that a family of four has a least two bedrooms, a kitchen area and a bathroom,” Hannes said.

Hannes said a homeowner can apply for an appeal if their initial request for direct housing relief was declined.

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.