In the wake of Hurricane Harvey much of the Texas coast – especially the Houston area – has seen billions of dollars in destruction. Much of the damage is from debris flying through Category 4 winds, plus the excessive flooding after the storm dropped an estimated 19 trillion gallons of water on the state.
While many homes and buildings were destroyed in the storm, Paul Bradley of ROCUSA told MHLivingNews that they “are very happy report that the Pasadena Trails ROC, a 100-home community in Pasadena, Texas survived Harvey!”
Pasadena Trails is a manufactured home community with about 100 homes. The community is one of a growing number of Resident Owned Communities.
Bradley went on to say that “The co-op’s investment in storm-water drainage in 2016 – with financing from ROC USA Capital – as well as several years of tree maintenance are credited with the community’s success in weathering this enormous storm.”
Hurricane, Windstorm Realities vs. Myths
Those who are long time readers on MHLivingNews might remember the video below, featuring residents who were surprised to come back to their manufactured homes after major hurricanes of the past.
Efforts to Help Those Displaced by Hurricane Harvey
“It’s too early to know exactly how much of an impact on Houston this storm will have. But the way I look at it, people are going to be looking for homes, and mobile homes make sense, but there’s a limited number of places to put them,” said Ernie Sanchez, a salesman for RD Mobile Homes in Pearland, south of Houston.
The Daily Business News on our sister publication MHProNews has been reporting on the efforts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to start getting people out of shelters and into permanent housing.
There are an estimated 40,000 to perhaps 100,000 households who have lost their dwelling to the storm. While flooding can harm manufactured homes too, there is some benefit to those manufactured homes that are 2 to 3 feet above ground level.
Most of the damage has been to conventionally built housing. Estimates for total damages to the state are looking at being more than $100 billion. Some are estimating those losses at closer to $200 billion.
Seeing Daylight, in the Wrong Places…
“You can see the sky a lot more now. It’s weird to have all of that foliage and coverage gone. The trees are bare. The place looks different, but we’re safe,” Goldman said.
FEMA administrator Brock Long and Vice President Mike Pence have both confirmed that manufactured homes will be part of the relief plans and long-term housing plans for survivors of Hurricane Harvey.
However, the FEMA administrator says “that is a long process.”
Mark Weiss, President and CEO of Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform told MHProNews “that saying that MH are the last resort may reflect the practical logistical reality of getting manufactured homes into the disaster zone in significant numbers, right away.”
A Challenge from West Virginia Housing Institute Inc.
In order to help relief efforts, the West Virginia Housing Institute Inc. has decided not only to donate themselves, but to issue a challenge to other manufactured housing industry businesses to donate as well.
“President George T. Gunnell and the West Virginia Housing Institute Inc. board of directors, in conjunction with our MHEC leader Marla McAfee, has directed me to donate $1,000 each to aid our friends and sister organizations in Texas and Louisiana to help mitigate the pain from Hurricane Harvey,” Andy Gallagher wrote in an e-mail to MHProNews.
“We would like to challenge every other state organization and MHI to match our donation to aid victims of the floods,” Gallagher wrote. He said that the New York Times had vetted the following organizations. This may be useful, as numerous scams are being reported.
Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) is also preparing to help relief efforts by taking stock of inventories for both homes and lots by local retailers and communities.
TMHA told MHProNews that they wanted to have this information readily available should FEMA or another agency turn to them for help housing displaced families, as they had done in the past.
“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.
While manufactured housing offers a quick solution – once flood waters have subsided – to getting people into homes faster, there may be regulatory roadblocks along the way.
“In Houston, you can’t have a mobile home placed anywhere but in a community, so that’s something that might need to be set aside while this recovery is underway,” Sanchez explained.
The Storm Brought Many Americans Together
In these times of tragedy in the wake of a natural disaster, people of all backgrounds are coming together to help the people of Texas who have suffered great losses in the last week.
Those in the manufactured housing industry – who know that they can make a significant impact on post-storm recovery – are no different.
“It’s won’t surprise any of you that these largely Spanish-speaking homeowners, given the massive and heart-breaking damage and loss in the region, are now out helping others,” Paul Bradley said of the Pasadena Trails MHC.
“At this point our thoughts remain with those in Texas that are experiencing what we here in Louisiana felt 12 years ago. We remain ready to assist in any way we can,” said Lenny Kopowski with the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association to MHProNews. ##
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