Flood victims begin to move into FEMA mobile housing units

Flood victims begin to move into FEMA mobile housing units

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - On a mobile device? Click here to take a look at the mobile housing units

The manufactured housing units for flood victims are slowly making their way to neighborhoods in south Louisiana.

FEMA said that 16 of the manufactured housing units (MHUs) are currently occupied. That is out of the more than 200 units that have been set up on different sites across the affected parishes. Officials said the remaining units either still need utilities or are in final preparations.

Tonia Kinchen said  she is happy to have gotten her unit so early. She has been making the 30 minute drive to her son's home every day since she lost everything in the recent flooding.

She works on her house on Prescott Road and travels back to her son's house on Burbank Drive to sleep. However, that is about to change now that she has a MHU parked in her front yard.

Kinchen and her husband will be moving in within the next few days once it is fully operational.

"They have beds, they have sheets. They have blankets, dishes. The whole nine yards. So it's something to start you off with," Kinchen said.

However, Kinchen said it will still be difficult transition. She signed a year-long contract to use the trailer, but hopes to be back in her repaired home before then, and before it starts to take an emotional toll.

"The hardest part is just not being your home here. Home is home. No matter how you look at it," Kinchen said.

FEMA officials said they are processing applications for trailers as quickly as they can and distributing them from sites like the one on Blount Road. Kinchen said she didn't lose phone or internet service during the flooding, and that's why she got her unit earlier than other people.

"A lot of people didn't have access to a phone, didn't have access to internet, and FEMA said like I was on the top of the list," Kinchen said.

FEMA officials said more than 550 have been ordered for the flooding disaster, but the number will grow as they work with flood victims on their housing needs.

People can apply online at disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362. Applicants must have more than $17,000 in property damage to be eligible.

FEMA said people can continue to register through October.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 13, officials reported that 58,800 people had registered with FEMA in East Baton Rouge Parish. Livingston Parish had 28,603 registered with the agency followed by Ascension Parish with 11,446 and Tangipahoa with 9,063.

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