STATE, LOCAL AGENCIES FIND HOUSING FOR EVACUEES
THOSE WHO NEED HOUSING SHOULD REGISTER WITH STATE
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - State and local government agencies in Tennessee continue to work to find housing (interim sheltering) for people who came to the state for emergency shelter in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. So far, officials have placed 360 evacuee families in housing (interim shelter), with a goal of finding housing for all evacuees who have indicated to the state that they need living quarters.
“This is a terrific example of state and local governments and agencies working together in an unprecedented way to meet the needs of people whose lives have been totally upended,” Finance and Administration Commissioner Dave Goetz said. “We’ve got a long way to go in the process of finding housing for everyone who needs it, but we couldn’t have planned for things to run this smoothly.”
Almost 20,000 families or individuals registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as evacuees who relocated to Tennessee either voluntarily or in organized rescue efforts. A total of 3,772 families – or over 9200 people – have registered for interim sheltering or short-term housing. To facilitate this move out of emergency sheltering, case-management services are available through the state’s nine Community Service Agencies (CSAs). People who need housing must contact one of the CSAs to register for housing.
Acting on behalf of the state through the Department of Finance and Administration, the CSAs are the state’s point of contact for establishing interim sheltering case management for hurricane evacuees. Each of the CSAs has a governing board comprised of community leaders, providing each CSA with an awareness of and ability to respond quickly to community needs. The CSAs operate under state-approved fiscal, governance and personnel policies. Their independent “quasi-governmental” structure allows for timely implementation of programs and services to meet rapidly changing community needs.
On September 5, President Bush granted Governor Bredesen’s request for an emergency declaration for the entire state. The declaration means that state government and its local counterparts are eligible for 100 percent federal reimbursement for immediate relief efforts and expanded services for evacuees.
Toll-free numbers have been established for each CSA for information and intake regarding housing requests. (See accompanying map).