Officials work to speed up process with housing programs

Officials work to speed up process with housing programs

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

FEMA officials said getting applicants into their mobile housing units is taking a long time.

According to FEMA, 60 families have moved into their units, but nearly 500 are sitting empty on lots. Representatives said it is slow going to find a spot and get power for the unit.

"It is a process. We have a lot of actions that we need to take involve a lot of people," said FEMA representative Justo Hernandez. "Once we fit it, we need to wait for permits. We need to look into the parishes for permits. We need to look into the aspect of getting that survivor the utilities that he needs."

Gov. John Bel Edwards recently graded FEMA's performance, giving them an A for initial response, but said the rest of their work still has to be determined.

When asked how he would grade FEMA, Hernandez said he believes they have done a great job so far, but they have a long way to go.

"Yes, we're not there. I say B, but we're getting there," he said.

Officials with the state were also there to answer questions about the Shelter at Home program, where contractors do short-term temporary fixes so people can move back in and start repairs.

Since starting three weeks ago, 77 work orders have been filled so far with 19,000 people registered for help. Officials said they are trying their best to move faster.

"We are in the process of moving them forward. We're taking and scheduling inspections at a rate of over 400 a day is what we're clipping them through," said Lael Holton, the director of the Shelter At Home program. "So, 19,000 applications, 23 days into the program, the math is you know... we're getting down that list, but we're moving along."

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