Flooded Renters Out of Options - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Flooded Renters Out of Options

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After the 2011 Mouse River Flood, the Federal Emergency Management Agency responded with 2,043 temporary housing units.

That number has dwindled to 158 FEMA trailers on only one group site east of Minot.

But that number has come to a stand still.

Many of the FEMA renters remaining were apartment renters just before the flood.

As Jennifer Thorgramson tells us, some residents feel their options have been limited, and now time is running out.

From the very beginning, to the 55th Street FEMA park height of just over two-thousand temporary housing units in 2012, to now.

Since the 2011 Mouse River flood, renters have been and are continuing to struggle.

(Wesley Hoff, Minot Resident) "We really have been forgotten. All the stuff that's been going on, all of us that are left, they really haven't helped us. We are the poor people I'm sure. Why have we been forgotten?"

Hoff is one of just over 150 residents renting from FEMA.

(Wesley Hoff, Minot Resident) "It's hard to find a place. It's been a long, long, long journey."

As part of the agreement with FEMA, he is still looking for a new place to rent in town, often paying repeated application fees for limited options.

(Wesley Hoff, Minot Resident) "Each time you get turned down, you have to go find another place and these people expect you to do this."

And he's not without change at the FEMA park on 55th.

Future plans for the park have required him to move to different temporary housing units three times.

(Wesley Hoff, Minot Resident) "I would like to get back to my life and get on with it! That's all I've ever wanted. It's one thing after another and when you're moving all the time, I'm pretty much flat broke."

FEMA spokesperson Brian Hvinden says about 75 units have been sold to the residents of the THUs.

And the 158 people still renting from FEMA are facing the September 24th deadline.

At that time, the care of the park on 55th will be turned over to First Minot Management.

(Danelle Zietz, Wheatland Village Property Manager) "This is such a great opportunity for the people that are out there. A lot of these people never thought that they'd own their home and with the Bank of North Dakota funding this, I deal with people every day that never thought they'd own their home and they are so proud and so excited to be able to have something to call their own. A home that they never thought they'd own. It's a good thing."

But for those who can't afford the new-normal rent prices in town, and are unable to buy the trailer, the deadline still has unanswered questions, and the two years of questions for flooded former renters continue.

In Minot, Jennifer Thorgramson, KX News.

FEMA is working with the Minot Housing Authority to possibly donate the remaining trailers.

But Minot Housing Authority executive director Tom Pearson says that would require residents to go through criminal background checks and no existing debt with Minot Housing Authority.

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