FEMA Announces Housing Sales Program
From: FEMA Filed 5/15/07 GCN
Eligible occupants of temporary housing provided by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may now purchase their travel trailer, park model or mobile home.
As part of the recent announcement to extend housing assistance beyond Aug. 31, 2007, FEMA also announced it would begin selling travel trailers and mobile homes to current occupants of these units. The “Sales to Occupants” program allows families currently living in FEMA temporary housing units
to purchase them.
FEMA has written a letter to all current travel trailer, park model and mobile home occupants asking if they may be interested in purchasing their housing units. If they are, applicants will sign and return to FEMA a “Notice of Interest in Purchasing Temporary Housing Unit” form included in the letter.
Once FEMA receives a signed notice of interest, FEMA sales managers will begin contacting interested families to provide instructions on the sales process and its requirements. All sales will be handled on
a case-by-case basis.
“Our sales managers will be making every effort to contact interested applicants as quickly as possible to explain how the sales program works. However, it may take from one to four weeks before a sales manager can do so if the numbers of interested applicants is high,” said Dennis Kizziah, acting director of the FEMA Mississippi Transitional Recovery Office. “If applicants have questions, they may call the FEMA Mississippi Help Line at 1-866-877-6075.”
Signing and returning a notice of interest form to FEMA is not binding. Even if an applicant tells FEMA he or she is interested, it doesn’t mean the applicant is required to purchase the unit. At the same time, an applicant who currently is not interested in purchasing their unit may change his or her mind. If this
is the case, FEMA will work with those persons at that time.
Upon completion of the sale, the applicant or members of the applicant’s household will no longer be eligible to receive FEMA housing assistance under the federally declared disaster for which the unit
was provided, in this case, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Applicants who do not wish to participate in the sales program will continue to be eligible to stay in their units as long as they meet the eligibility requirements for temporary housing assistance while
that assistance is provided.
Eligible families must purchase the FEMA-provided unit they are currently occupying. No substitutions or exchanges will be allowed. Units will be sold “as is” with no stated or implied warranties. Once occupants purchase the unit, they will no longer be eligible for FEMA temporary Housing Assistance.
The sales prices will vary based on several factors including the type of unit, whether the unit was originally new or used, and the number of months the occupants lived in the unit. Other costs, such as state sales tax, hazard and flood insurance, local permit fees, and any costs associated with moving the unit may apply and are the purchaser’s responsibility.
Under the guidelines established for this sales program, participants in the previous unit sales programs who are still interested in purchasing their unit must still sign and return the notice of interest. FEMA sales caseworkers will continue to process those special cases.
Occupants purchasing their unit must also:
· Pay all applicable state sales taxes and any other applicable costs;
· Accept all responsibility and liability. Occupants in group sites will be responsible for moving the unit to a permanent location within 30 days of completion of the sale;
· Obtain local permits or inspections and provide copies to FEMA, as required;
· Comply with local floodplain management codes if the selected site is located within the 100-year floodplain or a designated Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA);
· Agree to obtain hazard insurance for the unit, including flood insurance if the unit is or will be located in a designated SFHA.