Future Permanent Recovery Efforts and the Importance to Get Involved with the COGs

In trying to anticipate next steps, we expect vendors will be selected by the GLO and soon to follow local Council of Governments (COGs) for temporary housing.

No one at this point knows how many MHUs will be used in temporary housing efforts. Both state and local agencies are waiting for FEMA to vet the disaster registrants to determine eligibility, need, and type of temporary housing.

FEMA has had over 900,000 registrants with some level of disaster claim. Expectations are that the total number of registrants will surpass one-million people. Based on prior disaster events, TMHA has been told approximate six percent of FEMA claims result in eligible persons in need of some form of temporary (18-month) housing, of which MHUs are one option.

In the coming weeks and months, we anticipate contractors and vendors selected by federal, state and local governments to start deploying and building MHUs. We also anticipate more calls for adequate placement locations, such as on vacancies in MH Communities.

Looking further in the future, in three to six months we expect permanent replacement and rebuilding plans to be finalized. For those in our industry interested in these efforts, TMHA would encourage you to be attentive and participate as early and as often as you can at the local level.

All permanent replacement and rebuilding efforts will be controlled ultimately at the local level. There are 24 Commissions or COGs in Texas. Eight COGs are impacted and involved with Harvey recovery. These collections of city council members, county commissioners, judges and other local political leaders will determine the local rules, including types of eligible replacement housing for permanent rebuilding.

For our industry to participate and demonstrate the role we can play providing some of the permanent replacement housing, you must get involved with the local COGs. We must appeal at the local COG levels to be included, and not excluded, when the permanent rebuilding efforts begin in 2018.

TMHA is already working to advance this effort at the state level, but we have been told time and again the ultimate decision on housing and rebuilding will be controlled at the local level. We ask our members to get involved early, participate vigorously, educate people about our homes, and advocate for yourself and our industry.

The permanent rebuilding efforts will be enormous and last for years. This effort is one that the manufactured housing industry must be a major contributor to. In the years to come we will have an opportunity to show not only what we can do, but also amaze would be detractors just how far we have come. It is on all the industry to make sure we are given opportunities to compete on a level playing field so recovering homeowners are presented our homes as a permanent housing option.