The temporary housing mission consists of the placement of temporary housing units at individual home sites, existing mobile home parks or newly designed and constructed mobile home parks when an event has rendered existing homes uninhabitable. Because of the expense of this mission, FEMA uses this mission as a last resort after exhausting all other options such as rental properties.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Housing Planning Response Teams (PRT) may also be tasked to provide critical public facilities such as government office space, police stations, fire stations, medical clinics, and school classrooms. These units may be modular, interior office space constructed within a large warehouse type building, pre-engineered steel buildings, or large soft sided structures.
The processes for accomplishing temporary housing and critical public facilities are very similar.
A successful temporary housing or critical public facilities mission incorporates the combined USACE functions of Contracting, Real Estate, Environmental, Resource Management, Project Management, Design, Construction Oversight, and Emergency Management. Close coordination and partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), State and Local governments, and other Federal agencies is essential. USACE assets can provide the following:
- Technical Assistance to FEMA Planning Teams to determine housing or critical public facilities need
- Technical Assistance to FEMA’s Logistics Temporary Housing contract (LogHOUSE)
- Contracting and oversight of units on individuals sites (“haul and install” mission)
- Identification and recommendations on potential sites
- Design and construction of mobile home parks from undeveloped land or an existing park
- Site layouts for critical public facilities under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program
- Procurement of modular units for critical public facilities.
FEMA has several large IA-TAC contracts in place to address the full spectrum of possible missions. However, these are not available for Critical Public Facilities, which falls under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. If USACE is assigned a mission, the best contracting method is coordinated with the local District. Past methods have included using existing local Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts, special emergency contracting, Base Development Contracts and procuring units as Commercial Items. Unlike other missions such as debris and emergency power, USACE has no Advance Contract Initiative (ACI) contracts in place for temporary housing or critical public facilities.
Temporary Housing eligibility is determined by FEMA. Applicants must call 1-800-621-FEMA to apply for assistance. FEMA qualifies the applicants for assistance then passes the eligible to USACE to provide a housing unit when USACE is tasked to perform mission execution.
Critical Public Facilities eligibility is determined by FEMA’s Public Assistance Branch. Local Agencies have the option of doing the work themselves and submitting the costs for reimbursement by completing Project Worksheets.
Utility locations, specifically sewer and water availability are key considerations for site selection. A thorough environmental analysis must be completed prior to the initiation of construction. Wetlands and culturally sensitive areas must be avoided or mitigated. Construction within the floodplain is prohibited in nearly all situations. Local codes must be considered and coordinated with local agencies.