Only 13 houses from 2016 flood still to go under West Virginia RISE

West Virginia is likely to complete all but a few of the housing projects from the devastating 2016 flood by the end of this month.

That was according to a report before the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Flooding. 

Jennifer Ferrell

Only 13 housing projects remain, said Jennifer Ferrell, director of community advancement for the West Virginia Development Office.

Of those, 10 are already in construction, one is going through acquisition and an environmental review, another is a rehabilitation project and the final one is a matter of purchasing a mobile housing unit.

West Virginia has completed 374 houses, Ferrell said.

“We still feel on good track. We think a lot of those ten will be completed by the end of September and only have four or five left to be completed by the end of the year,” she said.

The June 23, 2016, flood devastated much of the state.

Twenty-three people were killed. There were 1,200 homes destroyed, and thousands were without power, according to state assessments. The flood damaged businesses, roads and water and sewer systems.

West Virginia was awarded $149 million in Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Relief by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

West Virginia made its request to start using the money on Jan. 29, 2018. HUD gave its OK on Feb. 20, 2018.

And for many months, RISE West Virginia drew criticism for its slow pace of administering flood relief as HUD officially designated the state as a “slow spender” for its pace.

West Virginia retains that designation even as it closes in on completing the last few houses. As of the beginning of August, West Virginia had spent all but about $57 million of the money.

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