LUMBERTON — Robeson County officials are asking anyone with unoccupied rental property to contact them as they try to find homes for hundreds of families still without a permanent home because of Hurricane Matthew.
Emily Jones, county public information officer, issued a statement asking anyone with available units to contact the county’s disaster hotline. The disaster hotline can be reached by calling 910-671-3513.
“There are still over 400 families from Robeson County that are displaced and living in hotels,” the statement said. “These families have been confined to motel rooms for over 120 days and they are in desperate need for the ability to get back to normal living conditions that afford them the ability to cook meals and have more space.”
Hurricane Matthew ravaged Robeson County in early October, flooding thousands of homes and putting as many as 5,000 people into temporary housing provided by FEMA. Hundreds still can’t go home because their houses are condemned or were destroyed. Many of those people have sought refuge in motels along Interstate 95 under a program provided by FEMA.
Case managers are working with the families still in motels, but there is a shortage of livable properties around Robeson County.
“Many of these folks have the ability to sustain housing if it can be located,” Jones said. “We are asking anyone who has property in and around Robeson County to contact the disaster hotline.”
Families stuck in motels have been referred to FEMA’s online housing portal, which shows available housing sorted by criteria such as number of bedrooms and monthly rent. In Robeson County fewer than two dozen homes were available on Thursday afternoon.
Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly