McCaskill Asks FEMA to Extend Housing Aid for Joplin
Senator supports citys request for extending housing contract that is set to expire soon
September 27, 2012
WASHINGTON - Days after the city of Joplin requested additional federal housing assistance, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is calling on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to extend the availability of temporary housing for Joplin residents following last year's destructive tornado.
In a letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, McCaskill urged the agency to extend their contract to provide temporary housing with the city until June 30, 2013. An extension would provide housing for 166 families expected to be in permanent homes by that time. The housing contract is currently set to expire on November 9, 2012.
"The people of Joplin are working hard to rebuild their community," McCaskill wrote. "Through their tireless efforts, homes are being rebuilt and businesses are reopening. Although remarkable progress toward recovery has been made, the work is not yet complete."
In June, McCaskill met with members of the Joplin Area Coalition to discuss progress on tornado recovery efforts. At that time, McCaskill announced the U.S. Department of Transportation's approval of more than $12 million in grant resources for Joplin that will create job opportunities in the region with projects aimed at road and rail improvements and expansions.
McCaskill has championed and helped deliver needed resources in Joplin's disaster recovery effort, supporting the aid of more than $250 million to the community.
Last fall, McCaskill also invited two southwest Missouri residents involved with federal disaster recovery efforts to share their experiences at a Senate hearing.
Read a copy of the letter below.
Dear Administrator Fugate,
I write in strong support of the City of Joplin's request for an extension of their contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide temporary housing.
The tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, on May 22, 2011, was the deadliest, most destructive tornado seen in decades. 161 people lost their lives, hundreds more were injured, and thousands of homes and buildings were destroyed. Following the tornado, FEMA provided temporary housing to 586 families.
The people of Joplin are working hard to rebuild their community. Through their tireless efforts, homes are being rebuilt and businesses are reopening. 420 of the families that used FEMA provided housing have moved into homes or apartments.
However, although remarkable progress toward recovery has been made, the work is not yet complete. With the current contract to provide temporary housing set to expire on November 9, 2012, 166 families remain in temporary FEMA housing, and unfortunately, sufficient stock of affordable housing for the residents remaining in temporary FEMA housing simply isn't available.
This situation is not permanent. Exemplifying the remarkable work toward recovery being done by the people of Joplin, construction of new affordable housing sufficient to house the 166 families remaining in temporary FEMA housing is expected to be available in June 2013.
In the wake of such an overwhelming tragedy, it is absolutely essential that the federal government provide every possible resource to aid the residents of Joplin. I strongly urge that the contract to provide temporary housing be extended until June 30, 2013, as requested by the City of Joplin. Should you have any questions regarding this request, please contact Gary Gorski in my Washington D.C. office at (202) 224-6154.
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