By Maj. Holli Nelson
| West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs | June 3, 2019
West Virginia National Guard's Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, issues the following update on RISE West Virginia's case management status:
Last week, crews completed another bridge in Nicholas County, bringing the number of completed bridges to three with an additional 70 bridges in the case management process.
At this time, 25 homes are in active construction for the RISE West Virginia program, while three homes are in the demolition phase.
There are 63 other reconstruction and mobile home unit replacement projects at varying points in the initial construction phase, including permitting, inspections and asbestos abatement. There are 15 other projects awaiting signed homeowner agreements to move forward in the construction process. We have received 96 completed environmental reviews, and increase of 10 from last week, which will allow cases to move forward through the final phases of the case management process and into the construction management phase.
The number of outstanding Housing Program cases is 465, a drop from previous weeks as some applicants have moved out of the program. VOAD case managers diligently assess each case in the RISE West Virginia program and after three failed attempts to make contact with an applicant, a letter is sent to the applicant with a 30-day window for response. If the applicant does not respond, they are removed from the program, which accounts for the drop in cases last week.
The current breakdown by construction type is as follows: 50 homes are complete, 282 cases require total reconstruction, 57 cases require some form of rehabilitation actions, 108 cases require new mobile home replacement, and 18 cases are awaiting initial project type and undergoing the damage assessment process. In an effort to maximize program participation for West Virginia flood victims, the intake process remains open and VOAD continues to research more than 1,300 cases that were previously closed out.
Currently, 14 projects are in the asbestos inspection and abatement phase for the Slum and Blight Program. There are an additional 164 projects currently in the Slum and Blight program, 159 of which are ready for the environmental review process. An additional 30 projects are in the case management process pipeline for removal that are considered an “imminent threat" from the county or municipality, meaning those properties pose a threat to the health and safety of the public. These projects will move from the “imminent threat” phase to the environmental review process before demolition can begin. The Slum and Blight program is still accepting applications in all counties affected by the 2016 flood.
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).