West Virginia Adjutant General’s update on RISE West Virginia

By Maj. Holli Nelson | West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs | Nov. 22, 2019

CHARLESTON, W.Va. —

This week, construction crews completed four final inspections on two mobile home units in Nicholas and Greenbrier Counties, a reconstruction in Kanawha County, and a rehabilitation in Greenbrier County, bringing the total number of completed homes in the RISE West Virginia program to 85.

 

Three additional mobile home units are scheduled for final inspection today, Nov. 22, in Clay, Webster and Nicholas Counties.

 

West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WVVOAD) completed their first home reconstruction as a part of the RISE West Virginia program this week. The home, located in Clendenin in Kanawha County, required significant elevation in order to be reconstructed in the same footprint where the previous home sat.

 

“WV VOAD was on hand to assist this client with clean up in the early days following the 2016 flooding, so it is particularly gratifying to participate in the construction of her home with the WVNG and the WV Department of Commerce,” said Jenny Gannaway, executive director of WV VOAD. “In the last four months, WV VOAD has assembled a team of construction professionals and willing volunteers from more than 10 states who helped with this project. It is exciting to celebrate the completion of WV VOAD’s first home for a RISE West Virginia applicant in time for Thanksgiving. We look forward to helping many more families return home as soon as possible.”

 

At this time, there are 66 homes in active construction through four different contractors, an increase of two from last week. These contractors have been issued 150 notices to proceed, meaning these projects are ready to begin demolition and construction. Of the 66 homes in active construction, 12 are mobile home replacements, 50 are reconstruction projects, three are rehabilitation projects and one is in demolition.

 

Currently, there are 392 active cases covered under the RISE West Virginia Program. The current breakdown by construction type is as follows: 85 homes are complete, 244 cases require total reconstruction, 35 cases require some form of rehabilitation actions, 79 cases require new mobile home replacement, and 34 cases are awaiting initial project type and undergoing the damage assessment process.

 

Of the total 392 active cases, 329 have been awarded to a construction contractor or sub-recipient, 14 are currently out for bid undergoing the required West Virginia state procurement process, and 49 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 22 additional cases that are eligible for the program, which are already undergoing the initial project type or damage assessment process.

 

Crews continue to work on the ninth bridge home project this week. There are currently 59 other bridges 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.

 

Currently, 20 projects are in the asbestos inspection and abatement phase for the Slum and Blight Program. There are an additional 286 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).