MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency has put out a nationwide request for emergency housing to assist families displaced by Hurricane Harvey and Alabama is responding.
More than 4,500 units are needed to assist families. FEMA officials say many of those needed units will be built by manufactured housing plant in Alabama.
According to FEMA officials, about 22,000 families have been displaced by Harvey. Many of those have already begun the process of requesting disaster assistance, including emergency housing. More requests are expected to come in the days ahead.
"The state of Texas is about to undergo one of the largest recovery-housing missions that the nation has ever seen," FEMA Administrator Brock Long said during a news conference Monday. "The goal of this is, if we can't put you back in your home because it's destroyed or because the floodwaters are there and are going to be there a while, we want to get you out of the long-term sheltering."
There are 12 manufactured housing plants located in Alabama, employing nearly 4,000 people. According to FEMA, those manufacturers produced more than 11,000 homes, not including FEMA units. About 70 percent of those homes were exported to other states.
"Our industry is very strong in Alabama, and because of that we are in a position to help," said Latham. "As one of the top four states in the country for producing manufactured housing, Alabama is uniquely prepared to meet this need."
FEMA units can be one, two or three bedroom homes depending on the applicant's pre-disaster household composition. They also must be handicap accessible. Like traditional home sites, manufactured homes are built with the same materials but in bulk and on assembly lines to save money and avoid costly delays.
While FEMA may also provide rental assistance, FEMA manufactured housing units can be placed on the applicant's property and can house displaced families for years while their homes are being rebuilt.