The Federal Emergency Management Agency is gearing up for its second winter of managing temporary housing parks in Minot and Burlington.
The number of occupied units, often called FEMA trailers, has stayed steady over the past several months.
FEMA Direct Housing Operations Manager Robert Gilliam says over 300 trailers are still on private sites in the river valley and in the two parks in Burlington and Minot roughly 700 trailers remain occupied.
Gilliam says the agency recently visited each occupied trailer ahead of the new year, when FEMA will begin charging rent for the trailers.
(Robert Gilliam, FEMA Direct Housing Operation Mgr.) "We just started handing out letters to all the occupants informing them that the agency will begin charging rent on the units beginning January 1st and we've also delivered notices of interest in a sales program in case any of the current occupants might be interested in purchasing one of the units as a long term housing solution."
Gilliam says the price for a unit depends on its age, size, and condition.
Rental rates will range from 640 dollars for a 2 bedroom to approximately 950 dollars for a three bedroom unit.
Gilliam says people can appeal rental rates from FEMA if they feel it's not affordable.
(Robert Gilliam, FEMA Direct Housing Operation Mgr.) On the actual letters that we're handing out to notify individuals when the rent starts, it details the actual appeals process, who you contact and what type of documentation you have to provide in order to reduce the amount of monthly rent that you have to pay."
Gilliam says many of the trailers that are decommissioned in this area will be dispersed through other government agencies like the Bureau of Indian affairs and be transported to Reservations or sold at General Service Administration Auctions.
He says it's likely if the FEMA stockpile of trailers runs short for disaster such as Hurricane Sandy, the agency will then look at the cost of refurbishing trailers like these or if it's more cost effective to build new ones.