Officials answer questions about FEMA mobile homes, Shelter at Home

Photo Credit: WAFB
Photo Credit: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – More than 1,000 homes have received temporary repairs through the Shelter at Home program, with another 7,000 under construction. In total, more than 20,000 people have applied for the program.

So who’s watching the money that contractors are charging for the work?

“The price list is set across all nine contractors through the sub-contractors and everything else and homeowners do not have an opportunity to negotiate pricing with the contractor,” said Lael Holton with Aecom, the company selected to administer the program.

If the contractor did not do a good job under the Shelter at Home program, it cannot pass the inspection stage without three people – the homeowner, contractor and inspector from the program – all signing off.

“A home will not be considered complete and receive a final site visit past inspection if they are issues and concerns with the work that’s there in the home. That will be taken care of before it’s issued a completion,” Holton said.

All evacuation shelters have closed now, but thousands of people remain in hotels with an October 18 move out deadline approaching. However, the state has requested more time for those in hotels.

“If you take an average family of three, we have close to 9,000 people in hotels at this time,” said Tito Hernandez with FEMA.

As for those still waiting on manufactured housing units, or MHUs, FEMA said the reason it is taking so long on private sites is because those receiving them are having to set up second accounts for power, utilities and get a second meter. Plus, homeowners are having to ask neighbors for permission to run power lines through their properties.

If anyone has a multi-family property that can be fixed within two months and it can be offered to FEMA, they need it.

“Right now, we have 17 properties and 243 units available and we want more so we want all those landlords that are out there in the community that might have buildings with five or more units available to call,” Hernandez said.

Anyone with a multi-family property that can be offered to FEMA, call 225-382-1464.

Anyone with problems with the Shelter at Home contractors or their work, call 1-800-927-0216, extension 3.

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