How Manufactured Housing is Bringing Relief to Hurricane Harvey Victims

The devastating images coming out of Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma have already moved Houston and Hurricane Harvey off the front page. But the recovery process is still just beginning in Texas, and manufactured housing will play a significant role in helping families restore some normalcy to their lives amidst chaotic circumstances.

Estimates of total damages have topped $100 billion. A big chunk of that number comes from homes that have been destroyed. What happens to families who have lost the very roof over their heads? The first step is a shelter or a motel room, but that is a temporary measure.

Until land is cleared and insurance claims are settled, many who apply for emergency disaster assistance will at some point be moved into a manufactured home courtesy of FEMA.

“Thousands of manufactured homes are pre-positioned to respond,” said Vice President Mike Pence to Sean Hannity on his radio show. Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was a long-time supporter of the manufactured housing industry in his home state, and knows first-hand the quality and comfort provided by these dwellings.

Still, it’s a challenge that won’t be solved overnight. Building manufactured homes to HUD standards takes time, and won’t be rushed even in a crisis situation. The last thing people who have already lost their homes need is another home that doesn’t last. The FEMA policy is to use federally regulated HUD Code housing whenever possible over RVs, so that those trying to rebuild their lives can do so with some sense of security.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson is collaborating with the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) to help residents get back into homes as soon as possible.

“TMHA has pledged to help in both the immediate future and long term rebuilding efforts to come.  We are organizing within our membership ranks to prepare in the event our industry, in particular, came play a role in the recovery efforts,” the association told MHProNews.