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Eastern Kentucky family first to buy FEMA home after flood

 Ashley Fallen receives the title to her new home.
The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency
Ashley Fallen receives the title to her new home.

A family from Jackson, Kentucky is the first in the state to buy a temporary manufactured housing unit from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency following last year’s floods.

Nearly one year after historic floods rocked eastern Kentucky, 93 families remain in temporary housing offered by FEMA as of Monday afternoon.

Jackson resident Ashley Fallen says she lost her home to floodinglast year just two days after moving in. In the aftermath, FEMA provided temporary manufactured housing for her, her brother and five children. Last week, Fallen received the title to her new home that now resides on her father’s property.

“Between the mud and the extra rain we didn’t seem to need, we can finally say there is grass growing and we are settling in and it’s going to have a new charm to it to call it home tonight,” Fallen said.

FEMA is providing temporary housing assistance to flood survivors in Breathitt, Floyd, Knott, Letcher, Perry and Pike Counties. Housing assistance is available for up to 18 months, according to FEMA. All eligible applicants will have the option to purchase their current temporary home, but flood insurance is required.

Citing privacy issues, a spokesperson for FEMA declined to say how much the temporary homes cost. However, the price is based on a formula considering the unit type, number of bedrooms and the length of time lived in the unit.

FEMA spokesperson Kim Fuller says the agency expects to see several other flood survivors buy their temporary homes in the coming weeks.

“It was a great opportunity to see a family that struggled, really working hard to get home ownership,” Fuller said.

FEMA’s temporary housing program works alongside another program known as the “Alternative Manufactured Housing Unit" initiative that is helping applicants find long-term housing in cooperation with the Kentucky state government.

Ryan Van Velzer is the Kentucky Public Radio Managing Editor. Email Ryan at rvanvelzer@lpm.org.

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