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Home : News
NEWS | June 4, 2020

RISE Program continues progress despite COVID-19 pandemic

By Maj. Holli Nelson West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Over the past week, contractors with the West Virginia RISE program have completed six additional reconstruction and mobile home unit projects: three reconstructions in Greenbrier and Nicholas Counties and three mobile home unit projects in Clay, Roane and Webster Counties, bringing the total number of completed projects to 177. Three additional projects are slated for final inspection this week. Of the completed total completed projects, 51 have been accomplished while operating through the COVID-19 pandemic and 44 of those completions were done by Thompson Construction.

 

In addition, the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program reports that $36,444,952.52 of grant funding has been expended to date with 97% benefitting low-to-moderate income individuals in the 12 affected counties. Of the expenditures for grant funding, $32,957,664.70 has been allocated for the housing program and of that, $11,970,045 has been during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

A total of three multifamily developments have also been accepted to provide affordable housing in Kanawha and Nicholas Counties.

 

“Throughout this pandemic, we have seen a significant impact to our ability to source volunteers from outside the state, with as many as 39 volunteer teams having to pull out of providing assistance due to COVID-19 restrictions,” said Jenny Gannaway, executive director of West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (WVVOAD). “Despite the uncertainties we have faced, we continue to look at inventive ways to keep projects moving as quickly as possible and our construction teams are still working and building houses in West Virginia to take care of those who need our assistance to fully recover from the 2016 flood.” 

 

There are currently 54 homes in active construction through four different contractors in the housing program. These contractors have been issued 90 notices to proceed, meaning these projects are ready to begin demolition and construction. Of the 54 homes in active construction, two are mobile home replacements, 51 are reconstruction projects, and one is a rehabilitation project with three ready for final inspection.

 

There are 253 active cases covered under the RISE West Virginia Program. The current breakdown by construction type is as follows: 177 homes are complete, 193 cases require total reconstruction, four cases require some form of rehabilitation actions, 53 cases require new mobile home replacement and three are undergoing the initial intake process.

 

Mobile Home Unit and reconstruction bids will open for solicitation on June 10, 2020.

 

The Clearance and Demolition program case completion remains at eight total projects.  At this time, there are 269 projects in the active case management process. Seventy-eight projects are in environmental review process with an additional seven of those that have been completed and are ready to move forward. One notice to proceed has been issued to contractors meaning this project is ready for demolition.

 

Thirty additional projects are expected to be completed by the end of June. The Clearance and Demolition program is still accepting applications in all counties affected by the 2016 flood.

 

VOAD crews are continuing to work on the 17th bridge home project this week. Sixteen bridges are complete, which serve 18 families, and there are 59 others in the case management process.

 

Any families who feel they still have any unmet needs or who are looking for an update on their case are urged to contact the new VOAD office over the phone at 304-553-0927 or through email at DisasterRecovery@wv.gov. A hotline is also available for anyone needing to report fraud with regard to the RISE West Virginia program at 1-866-WVWATCH (1-866-989-2824).

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