Officials working to get displaced families a place to stay - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Officials working to get displaced families a place to stay

Posted: Sep 13, 2018 4:13 PM +10:00 Updated:

Governor Calvo has sent a letter to the President notifying Trump of his intention to request a major disaster declaration. Approval would pave the way for a wide range of federal assistance for individuals and public infrastructure. Damage assessments are still underway, and will provide the supporting documents for the White House's decision. The governor has also called the Legislature into special session late today to discuss a measure that would appropriate funds for emergency expenditures resulting from Typhoon Mangkhut. The bill would take one million dollars from the general fund for those needs.

For now, help is on the way for the hundreds of individuals still without a home at the Astumbo Gym.. This morning a team from the Guam Housing Corporation was at the Dededo facility beginning the process of getting them into a permanent shelter.

Help is on the way for the hundreds of individuals still without a home at the Astumbo Gym. This morning a team from the Guam Housing Corporation was at the Dededo facility beginning the process of getting them into a permanent shelter. A total of 55 families or 289 individuals remain at the Astumbo Gym three days after Typhoon Mangkhut.

Dededo Mayor Melissa Savares told KUAM News, "Probably have about 20 families who lost the entire structure; the others are just roofs or leaks that they had and just the entire contents are wet."  Meeting with the mayor Thursday morning were representatives from Guam Housing Corporation. The agency has been tasked by Governor Eddie Calvo to transition the families into permanent shelters.

GHC Special Assistant Caesar Villanueva said, "We are addressing the issues on a three tier basis  basically people that have no housing, people that have homes that are damaged, and people that can get into homes, that can get into rentals, so we discussed that with GHURA and are going through the motion of qualifying these individuals."

The Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority owns 750 public housing units, consisting of four AMPs or Asset Management Projects situated throughout the island. AMPs are rented to low income households to individuals who meet the federal program requirements. Villanueva said, "GHURA is more permanent housing if anything it's the people that are homeless or people that don't have the capacity or qualify for that permanent housing that's the concern we have to qualify these individuals."

The GHC is currently working on solutions to address that particular issue. According to the Governor some of displaced families who are citizens of federal associated states are not eligible for federal emergency assistance. It's an issue he has raised with recent visiting officials from the Department of Interior and an issue he plans to raise with FSM President Peter Christian.

For now though the GHC assures the community that they are working diligently to get families  back to some sort of normalcy including working with non government organizations.  GHC Senior Tenant Relations Manager John Potter added, "We are going to do our best and go back and asses our inventory and see if there are any unit that we can bring up - temporary of course - and to put them in as soon as we can."

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