Tuesday September 6, 2005
--Gulf Coast residents urged to register with FEMA--
--Property owners can offer housing through city website--
Preparations continue for Louisville to accommodate up to 500 additional displaced Gulf Coast residents, Mayor Jerry Abramson said today.
“Louisville is providing a home again to citizens displaced by the hurricane, and residents of our community continue to work here and along the Gulf Coast to help those affected communities and individuals recover,” Abramson said. “We’re identifying the shelter and social-service needs that will help ensure these people - who have gone through so much already - are cared for, are comfortable and are settled.”
Abramson said that for Gulf Coast residents to receive the most assistance possible, it will be important for them to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA is issuing identification numbers that will be required for many of the federally assisted programs such as rental assistance, Medicaid, prescription assistance and low-interest loans. Displaced residents can register with FEMA by calling (800) 621-FEMA (3362), or TTY (800) 462-7585 (speech & hearing impaired).
The American Red Cross has already worked with more than 600 people who have come to Louisville from the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast. Federal officials have provided no further indication of when the additional residents will be airlifted from the region to Louisville. Louisville Metro housing officials have accumulated a list of more than 400 units of housing that are available immediately throughout the city, and are working with area churches and community organizations, as well as Southern Indiana officials, to identify additional shelter alternatives.
“We’ve been thrilled to hear from many property owners offering housing with no rent, or deep discounts,” said Melissa Barry, director of the Louisville Metro Housing Department.
Individuals with available apartments, rental houses, dormitories and other longer-term housing - that would be available to displaced residents for up to six to 12 months - are asked to contact MetroCall. Call 311 or (502) 574-5000
Barry emphasized that the city does want to know about all available rental property, regardless of rent requirements.
“We need to have a deep and varied inventory of housing options so we can meet as many needs as possible in terms of number of bedrooms, area of town, or access to bus lines,” Barry said. Citizens offering housing should be prepared to provide the type of housing available (house, apartment, hotel/motel, etc.), address, number of bedrooms, and contact information.
At this point, the city is not seeking offers of housing in family-occupied homes.