By Maj. Holli Nelson
| West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs | Oct. 25, 2019
This week, construction crews continued to make progress on numerous homes in the active construction phase of the RISE West Virginia program.
At this time, there are 55 homes in active construction through four different contractors, an increase of six from last week. These contractors have been issued 130 notices to proceed, meaning these projects are ready to begin demolition and construction. Of the 55 homes in active construction, nine are mobile home replacements, 36 are reconstruction projects, four are rehabilitation projects and three are in demolition.
Currently, there are 394 active cases covered under the RISE West Virginia Program. The current breakdown by construction type is as follows: 74 homes are complete, 248 cases require total reconstruction, 35 cases require some form of rehabilitation actions, 90 cases require new mobile home replacement, and 21 cases are awaiting initial project type and undergoing the damage assessment process.
Of the total 394 active cases, 339 have been awarded to a construction contractor or sub-recipient, 24 are currently out for bid undergoing the required West Virginia state procurement process, and 30 are awaiting a Request for Quotation (RFQ), or are being analyzed via the case management process by VOAD.
WVVOAD continues to assess all nearly 1,400 cases that had been previously closed out or deemed ineligible through the old case management system. This assessment means that new cases could make their way into the RISE West Virginia program in the coming weeks and months, ensuring that all affected families are put forth on a path toward recovery. Since October 1, 2019, VOAD has identified 11 additional cases that are eligible for the program, which are already undergoing the initial project type or damage assessment process.
Crews work on a bridge home project this week, bringing the total number of completed bridges to eight. There is one bridge in construction at this time and 61 others are in the case management process.
The Slum and Blight program is currently awaiting the approval of a Substantial Amendment from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development before demolition can begin. This process can take 30-45 days for approval. The demolition process is expected to begin by Nov. 1, 2019.
Currently, 20 projects are in the asbestos inspection and abatement phase for the Slum and Blight Program. There are an additional 284 projects currently in the Slum and Blight program and all projects are ready for the environmental review process. An additional 19 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).