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Foreclosure Home Shelters

June 4th, 2009 by flanews

Florida has an estimated 280,000 homes in some level of foreclosure. The empty ones could fill up quick under a plan being discussed by emergency workers. As Whitney Ray tells us, foreclosed properties could be used to house people whose homes are destroyed by a hurricane.

Florida is second in the nation in foreclosures but the black eye could become a silver lining for families whose homes are destroyed by a hurricane. Emergency managers are discussing a plan to use the houses as evacuation shelters.

When you look at a catastrophic event like this, youre talking perhaps a million people will be displaced. We have to find a place for them, said David Halstead, the Interim Deputy Director of the Division of Emergency Management.

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes says the move would lighten the load on nonprofit groups who respond to storms.

If we can get creative and find a way to take some people out of the system, keep them closer. I dont think it gets any better than that, said Leslie Chapman-Henderson, the President and CEO of FLASH.

The Florida Bankers Association is sympathetic to the idea, but a spokesman for the company says there are legal and liability issues that make the plan a hard sale.

People living next to foreclosed properties also have concerns about moving evacuees into their neighborhoods. Governor Charlie Crist said more research needs to be done before he gets on board with the plan.

The notion has some promise perhaps, but I think it needs to be vetted a little more, Crist said.

In the mean time FEMA plans to use emergency shelters, apartments, and empty dorm rooms to house people left homeless by a hurricane. One concern about housing evacuees in foreclosed homes is the condition the home is in. Some of the houses havent been lived in for several years. Other houses have been destroyed by vandals or the previous owners.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Housing, Hurricane Season, State News, Weather | No Comments »

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