FEMA housing numbers continue to drop

The number of temporary housing units still occupied in Ward County has fallen to 69, while the number of completed sales has reached 235, the Federal Emergency Management Agency reported Monday. FEMA’s housing mission, initiated by the 2011 flood, ends Sept. 24.

There are just three FEMA units occupied on private property in the Souris Valley. That contrasts with 1,118 units placed on private sites during the recovery effort.

The remaining 66 units are in Virgil Workman Village in east Minot. At the peak of the housing operation, FEMA used three group sites built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well as five pre-existing manufactured home parks in Minot and Burlington.

Residents have the option of purchasing the unit in which they are living. FEMA spokesman Brian Hvinden, Minot, said FEMA expects about 250 sales to eventually be completed, with 235 sales closed so far.

Hvinden said buyers are able to remain at the Virgil Workman site under an agreement with the private landowner that enables them to lease lots for the units.

FEMA also continues to work with the Minot Housing Authority to donate units for a low-income housing project.

“Because the sales process has been far more successful than we

imagined, the number that will probably be going to donation is much smaller than we anticipated,” Hvinden said.

FEMA is in the process of visiting with residents interested in the low-income housing project to determine how many units to donate. Some residents remain in the FEMA units because they have been unable to obtain other housing, Hvinden said, noting that often it is not Minot’s housing rental rates but the deposit amount that stands in the way.