In less than one month, almost 800 individual cases for South Carolina’s October 2015 Storm Recovery Program have been started. The South Carolina Disaster Recovery Office (SCDRO) manages the program and is very close to placing some storm victims in new homes.
The state's October 2015 Storm Recovery Program is intended to repair or reconstruct single-family housing and single-family rental units. 22 counties are served through the program. 744 cases have have been started with 209 eligible applicants, that's according to the program's website, www.scstormrecovery.com.
The program is designed to assist Low to Moderate income households and serve South Carolina’s most vulnerable population. The highest priority will be given to households with documented damage and homeowners who are 65 years old or older, persons with documented disabilities, or households with children five years old or younger. The program focuses on the repair or replacement of homes for the most vulnerable citizens that do not have the resources to repair or rebuild their homes.
The program has eight priority statues. So far, 91 eligible applicants have been listed as Priority 1. SCDRO Public Information Director Beth Parks said they are hopeful at least two from the group will be placed in their new home by Christmas.
"We hope to start putting them in their homes before Christmas.We hope for at least one or two."
SCDRO manages the program and the $96,827,000 in federal funds being used to assist the state in
recovering from the flood. These funds come from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The focus of the program is to repair or replace damaged homes. Its estimated 1500, low-income homeowners will be helped through the program. Each new manufactured mobile home costs approximately $60,000. Parks said, its not yet clear how many homes will be issued.
"Possible around 600 or more. We're not exactly sure. We are still going through the application process right now."
Of the 22 counties served through the program Williamsburg,Sumter, Clarendon, Georgetown and Berkely Counties top the list with the most started cases. The program does not apply to residents of Richland and Lexington County or the City of Columbia, as these jurisdictions received separate grant money. The 22 counties served by the program include Bamberg, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dorchester, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Greenville, Greenwood, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Marion, Newberry, Orangeburg, Spartanburg, Sumter, and Williamsburg counties.
Since November 1, SCDRO began accepting applications for housing assistance through two permanent or fixed intake centers and several mobile intake centers. The fixed intake centers are located at 318 E. Main Street in Kingstree and 725 Broad Street in Sumter. Each office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Mobile intake centers are also located around the state. The offices change locations each day of the week and alternate locations between the following counties or combined county areas: Bamberg, Berkeley, Calhoun, Clarendon, Charleston, Darlington-Florence, Dorchester, Georgetown, Greenville-Spartanburg, Horry, Kershaw-Lee, Marion, Newberry-Fairfield-Greenwood, and Orangeburg.
To make an appointment, citizens may visit the SCDRO website at www.scstormrecovery.com or call 1-844-330-1199. Citizens applying for assistance should prepare by collecting the correct documents before visiting the intake center. The following documents are required:
- a state issued form of identification from the applicant
- birth certificates for all persons in the household ages 5 and under
- proof of income for persons in the household ages 18 and older
- proof of any disability, and insurance policies
--Commonly Asked Questions About the State's Recovery Program--
What makes a person eligible?
We encourage citizens to visit one of our intake centers to determine their eligibility. Eligibility is based on household income levels. Priority will be based age dependency and disability. SCDRO will provide eligible citizens with safe, sanitary and secure homes. Any previous funds for home repair received such as homeowner’s insurance, FEMA or local charities, will be subtracted from the total. Households served by this program are required to accept a three year forgivable lien.
Will you replace “stick-built” homes with manufactured homes?
Possibly, but it’s on a case by case basis.
What is the average cost of the home?
How big is the home?
Approximately 860 sq. ft.
How large a family would this home serve?
It would easily house a family of four.
Will the home come with appliances?
Every home will be equipped with standard Energy Star refrigerator and stove. Washers and dryers are not included. This model home is staged to show functionality. Furniture and accessories will not be provided.
If the owner’s previous home flooded, why put another home in its place? Wouldn’t it flood if we had another catastrophic event?
That’s possible. Our goal is to give the home owner a safe place to live. If the home owner is in the flood plain, we will raise the home above the flood plain. These homes can be raised up to 5 feet. Homeowners who live in a flood plain will need to purchase flood insurance.
How many citizens to you expect to serve overall?
We hope to touch 1,500 or more homes.