San Diego

San Diego Housing Commission announces new program for flood victims

Four months after the Jan. 22 floods, more relief is on the way for hundreds of San Diegans who are still out of their homes

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The San Diego Housing Commission is introducing a new flood recovery program designed to get people back into permanent housing.

“You can go see my house," Katherine LeMoine said. "It’s 4 feet high, all you see is two-by-fours," Katherine LeMoine said.

LeMoine is among the hundreds of San Diegans displaced from their homes by the January floods.

“That could have prevented. That could have prevented. That’s the main thing," LeMoine said.

Since January, she and her family have been staying at the Ramada Inn in National City. While she's grateful to have a roof over her head, getting her life together has been a long journey.

“Four months of going through this," LeMoine said.

Although LeMoine had flood insurance, it didn't cover all of the property that she lost.

She also didn't qualify for FEMA assistance, which is why she's grateful for the support she has received from the county's Emergency Temporary Lodging program.

Beta Street was one of the streets that flooded back on Jan. 22. In some areas, the water reached up to 4 feet high. The street remains a ghost town because many homeowners and residents that lived there have been living in a hotel for the past four months.

But the San Diego Housing Commission is working to change that. The new flood recovery program aims to work with homeowners and landlords to restore homes, provide financial assistance to affected families and work with local housing providers to help find places for people to live if they cannot return to their old home.

San Diego City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera told NBC 7 that the 1,500 people staying in hotels need to have permanent housing.

"The hotel room is better than the streets. It's better than a car, but it's not a home, and nobody should go homeless or be displaced from their community because of a flood, because of a natural disaster," Elo-Rivera said. "We know that we have a responsibility to the San Diegans who are displaced to do what we can to get them into permanent housing."

LeMoine said the San Diego Housing Commission reached out to her and that the new program is a step forward but doesn't address her situation.

“I would like them to go on an individual case, especially with the homeowners, help them get organization to help them if they don’t have flood insurance or don’t have no kind of insurance. Some kind of organization that can help them get their house back, so that they can get back in there," LeMoine said.

LeMoine finally received a check in the mail on Thursday from her insurance provider. She plans to use that money to repair her home, which she said should take six weeks. After that, she hopes to finally return home.

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