After a call-out to the community for help in locating them, FEMA has placed 34 modular homes in Greeley and Platteville for victims displaced by the September flood.
The federal agency in November asked those in Weld County to help find plots of land to place the homes, which are a last resort for flood victims who need a place to live while they transition into permanent housing.
The units are at Villa West and Valley Village mobile home parks in Greeley and Platteville, said Scott Chamberlain, individual assistance branch director for FEMA.
Statewide, Chamberlain said about 56 modular units have been deployed.
FEMA ran into several obstacles in finding a place for the modular homes in Weld County, including issues with hookups, floodplains and a few parks that would not take the temporary units.
Milliken town officials had hoped to get modular units placed within town borders to keep displaced families connected to Milliken. They sent a letter to FEMA requesting the units, but Chamberlain said the only place to put them would be in the mobile home park that was destroyed by the flood.
He said the agency had concerns about leftover debris being removed in time to place the units, and FEMA received conflicting information from the town on sewer, electric and gas hookups and on the town’s planning codes.
Time was of the essence, Chamberlain said, so FEMA went with the parks that were immediately available. Now, he said, every family contacted by FEMA should have received assistance for a place to live, either through home repairs, rental assistance, direct housing or the mobile homes.
Milliken Town Manager Jim Burack said the town’s interest has shifted to finding more affordable solutions for Milliken residents to move back permanently.
“We recognized that there was a window of opportunity to create that bridging solution” with the FEMA units, Burack said, but that time has passed.
The families living in the mobile units must get re-certified by FEMA every 30 days to continue living there, Chamberlain said. They must work with a case manager to find a more permanent housing option.
The FEMA modular home program runs for 18 months, Chamberlain said. He said FEMA owns the units but pays rent for the pad sites so that flood victims can live there for free.