New Albany woman living in a shed says she can't get FEMA assistance after flooding

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- A New Albany woman said she can’t get any help from FEMA after the home she lived in was flooded in February.

Mindy Morris has rented a home on Highway 111 in New Albany for three years and had plans on fully purchasing and owning the home by July. Morris now lives in 10x12 shed on the property. Her son, granddaughter and the baby’s mother live in a room also on the property.

“We’re out of money. We have nowhere else to stay,” said Morris, who started living in the home 10 days ago after staying with friends and in hotels since February’s flooding. “So since we’re condensed down to one side of the house, there was nowhere else for me to stay. So Grandma just decided to stay in the hut.”

Morris has been renting the home since March 2015, and even though FEMA has been to the property twice, she said they haven't helped financially.

“I worked so hard for all these years, three years now, to pay this off myself, and I have darn near done it," Morris said. "And they act like I am a renter, and that hurt’s my feelings the most … This was my investment."

A FEMA spokesperson said the organization does not help renters with home damage unless it is personal belongings. The home’s owner must submit a request for property or structural damage assistance.

Also, the New Albany home is the owner’s second/vacation home. FEMA does not cover homes unless it is the owner’s primary residence.

“Whose ever name is on that title would be the person who is going to claim the damage and try to recoup some of the cost ... not the renter,” said FEMA spokesperson Jann Tracey.

A new disaster recovery center opened in Utica on Sunday and has been helping residents of Clark, Floyd, Harrison and Jefferson Counties who need assistance.

President Donald Trump approved federal aid to Indiana counties earlier this year.

FEMA does plan sending out a mobile disaster unit to come to areas hit by the flood. Those locations will be released Thursday.

Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.