What Options do Homeowners Have Now? Housing Fair in Hawaii
The Federal Emergency Management Agency already sent their checks, however, what do homeowners need to expect now?
The housing fair held by Hawaii County on Saturday at the Keaau High School had a big question to discuss on how to solve the housing problem of those that been displaced by the recent Kilauea eruption. Workshops were available on the process of applying and receiving permits for house construction from the county.
One of the eruption affected, Jane Whitefield who lost her home in Leilani Estates from the eruption expressed her interest in small homes. According to her, the fair was good enough to provide her with a helpful information about housing rates.
Whitefield is staying in one of the micro-shelters located at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pahoa. All she asks for is a one-bedroom home with room for her 5 cats, 4 of which went missing after the eruption.
County didn’t get the special legislation it was hoping for, however, according to officials, they continue to work on long-term recovery efforts.
FEMA approved about $8.5 million through its individual assistance program as of August 30.
Direct lease assistance is offered for those still struggling to put a roof over their heads.
FEMA individuals housing specialist said only 6 households have needed that type of immediate assistance. And there are other 15 which received help flying to or from the mainland.
The Kilauea eruption began on May 3 and destroyed more than 700 homes in lower Puna. The eruptions stopped in September.
Mayor Harry Kim extended the emergency proclamation to December 29.
For the time being, building permits in the eruption area are mostly being limited to maintenance and repairs. There are no buildings allowed on the lava flow.