KUSA - FEMA has ordered 50 manufactured homes for families who were displaced by the September floods.
The HUD-approved temporary homes will installed in Colorado by mid-December. FEMA will set up the homes in two communities, though exact location were not immediately available.
FEMA emphasizes the manufactured homes will not be the same ones used in the Katrina disaster, but HUD-approved homes similar to what you would find in any mobile home park. They will likely be placed on existing concrete pads.
The federal agency said this type of temporary housing is considered a last resort, but is needed because of the state's housing shortage.
FEMA spokeswoman Renee Bafalis says the homes will be meant as extended, but temporary housing in "areas that were inaccessible or where homes have been damaged to the point where folks can't move back into them."
There are currently still 440 families living in hotels and they are worried about how much longer FEMA will continue to pay for their rooms.
"This bag right here was jammed full," said Josh Hughes, holding up a small backpack. "This was literally everything I brought with me when I left."
Hughes is staying at the America's Best Value Inn in Boulder at FEMA's expense.
He says rescuers had to help him hike out of his home in Lyons when the floods hit. The road to the house is still impassible, so he's living in the motel room with his girlfriend Laura Fruth and their dog.
But it's not a home.
"Every college student out there has lived off of ramen at one point or another, but even if you're making ramen, you at least need a microwave," said Hughes. "They have one, but it's in the lobby."
FEMA has extended its hotel program twice since the Colorado floods. Without another extension, November 2 will be the last night.
"What happens if FEMA says no and I still can't get home," asked Hughes.
"You don't want to be staying in a hotel for an indefinite period of time," Bafalis said.
FEMA hopes to reduce the number of people it places in hotels by steering them into longer-term rental properties.
The agency provides rental assistance, but the rental market is tight and homes can be difficult to find.
Because it's meant to be an emergency means of housing people, the program can only be extended two weeks at a time, which could happen again.
"We obviously look at the numbers of people that are still within that program," Bafalis said. "And the available rental units that may be available within the communities."
Despite the cloud of uncertainty over where he'll be living in a week, Hughes still makes a point to smile.
"What are you going to do but smile, laugh and keep going," Hughes said.
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