Evacuees in Utah Should All Have Housing Within Month

Evacuees in Utah Should All Have Housing Within Month

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Jed Boal ReportingHurricane Katrina evacuees who decided to stay in Utah should all have homes by the end of the month.

In the coming days several families from Camp Williams will move into their new homes at the Northgate Apartments, part of the Gateway complex, and elsewhere in the Salt Lake Valley. Forty evacuee families that decided to stay in Utah will move this week, 100 more will be placed in the next two weeks.

Apartment owners and operators discussed their role at the fall economic conference of The Utah Apartment Association. The Association has never dealt with anything like this before, but says there are plenty of units; it's a matter of coordination to get families into their new homes.

The Apartment Association worked with city and county housing authorities to pinpoint vacancies. Apartment owners and managers then worked to get the units ready. Most are excited to help and hope may of the evacuees make Utah their permanent home.

Jenifer Ewoniuk, President-elect Utah Apartment Association: "You deal with day to day business all the time. When something like this happens, such a tragedy, we love the opportunity to be able to house these people and to get their lives back together. Hopefully some of them will remain in our community."

FEMA will provide the rent for an indefinite period during the leases. Apartment owners made concessions on rent and deposits in some cases so that the FEMA money would cover the costs.

No low-income Utahns will be bumped from housing lists they are on. The Apartment Association tells me the placement of Katrina evacuee will not negatively impact Utahns waiting for apartments.

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