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FEMA Deploys Trailers As Temporary Housing Option [AUDIO]

With forty mobile homes (with another ten on the way) awaiting deployment and around forty five units in Fort Monmouth ready for move in, FEMA and the New Jersey Division of Community Affairs are getting options ready if Sandy victims find themselves without a place to live.

FEMA trailers lined up at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson
FEMA trailers lined up at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson (Ilya Hemlin, Townsquare Media NJ)

The trailers and Fort Monmouth are temporary housing options, which means inhabitants can only live there for up to 18 months and must have a plan for returning to non FEMA housing. Both are anticipated to begin housing families before Christmas, with December 22nd the projected date for Fort Monmouth to be open.

FEMA Housing Group Supervisor Donna Weise says the agency has made over ten thousand calls to Sandy victims to identify their housing situations, and to date only one hundred and thirty need the temporary housing. That number might seem rather low, but Weise says its because initially, many victims moved in with relatives and friends after the storm.

DCA Commissioner Rich Constable says that as time moves forward and housing situations need to be changed, they expect more demand for the temporary housing options.

“We anticipate that over the next few weeks and months that a lot of folks who say I’d rather stay with family would rather be at fort Monmouth or they’d rather have one of these temporary housing units.”

Constable adds, “Our concern is that at some point in the future these folks with family and friends, one of the two parties will decide it’s not working.”

To anticipate any further need, in Fort Monmouth 42 more units will be available in the McGill area in Eatontown and another 90 in the Lodge area in Oceanport,180 units in all. Those will be available in the next few weeks according to 13th district Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon.

Locations are still being determined for the mobile homes, though Constable and Weise said they will be placed on commercial lots that can easily accommodate water, electricity, and sewer hook ups, as well as be located within a reasonable distance of the homes of victims.

“We’re trying to match them up close to where they’re damaged dwelling is, where their children are going to school, where their employment is, so it’s as close to their pre disaster residence as possible,” says Weise.

Location will be the most important factor for determining whether a family goes into a mobile home or Fort Monmouth. Weise says it’s important that if living situations chance, Sandy victims make sure to change the status of their claim either by phone or in person.

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