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Tornado-impacted Kentucky counties eligible for FEMA trailers, other temporary housing options

Liam Niemeyer

Residents in several western Kentucky counties impacted by last month’s tornado outbreak could be eligible to receive trailers, RVs or manufactured homes as temporary housing through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Qualifying residents in Caldwell, Graves, Hopkins, Marshall, Muhlenberg and Warren counties could receive such temporary housing. FEMA Assistant External Affairs Officer Deanna Frazier said those who apply for FEMA aid do not have to do anything additional to potentially qualify for a trailer, RV or manufactured home.

“They simply apply with FEMA,” Frazier said. “The answers to the questions that you provided, they will use that as well as information from our inspectors to determine whether or not you're eligible for a temporary housing unit.”

Frazier said FEMA will directly reach out to those who are eligible to connect them with such a unit. To qualify for temporary housing through the agency, an applicant’s primary residence in one of the six eligible counties and must be deemed unsafe, unlivable, or uninhabitable along with other conditions:

  • Applicants must have filed for insurance benefits, or 
  • The damage to the property is not covered by insurance, or
  • The insurance settlement is insufficient, or
  • The settlement hasn’t been received

Frazier said such temporary housing units are meant to only serve as transitional housing up to 18 months after a disaster until a permanent home can be found. Such units – ranging from trailers, manufactured homes, and RVs – would be placed on a resident’s private property, commercial property including mobile home parks, or a group site established by FEMA that has a reasonable commuting distance.
Frazier could not yet give a timeline for when such temporary housing units would be made available to eligible residents or where such units would be sourced from. Another spokesperson for the agency said more specific information regarding temporary housing would be made available in the coming days.

FEMA also provides temporary housing through directly leasing available vacant homes and providing rent to landlords whose properties meet the agency’s standards. The agency also provides funding to make repairs to multi-family rental properties, to place impacted residents in serving as temporary housing.

Providing such rent will be most of the agency's support, Fraizer said, with FEMA already providing more than $7 million in rental assistance. Frazier said whatever support FEMA will provide will coincide with whatever temporary housing is provided by state and local governments.

“Rental assistance is, by and large, the lion's share of financial assistance that we provide,” Frazier said. “That is going to be the bulk of our financial assistance.”

To apply for FEMA aid, call 1-800-621-3362 or go to this website.

To learn how to appeal a FEMA application, see this article.

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