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Associated Press, Published August 29 2012

FEMA temporary housing program extended in Minot

MINOT, N.D. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed Wednesday to extend its temporary housing program in Minot by six months as the city continues its recovery from the historic Souris River flooding last summer.

That means the housing program, which was slated to end Dec. 24, will run through June 24, 2013. FEMA made more than 2,000 mobile homes available after the flooding for displaced residents, and more than 1,200 are still in use in Minot and Ward County.

“This extension will allow additional time for displaced Souris Valley residents to make repairs and return to their permanent homes, find a new home in the area, or purchase the unit which they are occupying,” said FEMA Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator Dan Alexander.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple and North Dakota's congressional delegation requested the extension. In a statement, they applauded the decision but said they would press FEMA to eliminate or reduce its plans to begin charging rent for the homes.

In January, FEMA plans to begin charging $686 for two-bedroom units and $947 for three-bedroom units. People who can't afford the rent can appeal. FEMA said people will also be given the opportunity to buy their temporary home.

“The extension gives our displaced residents more time to transition into permanent housing, but any rent fees must be reasonable, affordable and realistic considering the severe impact of flooding on area residents,” the governor and congressional delegation said in a statement.

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