KANSAS CITY, Mo (Reuters) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to build up to 348 modular homes for people displaced by the May 22 tornado in Joplin, Missouri, a FEMA official said on Wednesday.
The three-bedroom, one-bath mobile homes will be placed as needed on city-owned land in the north part of town, said Crystal Payton, a FEMA spokesperson in Joplin.
FEMA has identified 624 families or individuals still in need of housing after losing their homes in the tornado, she said.
"This will allow them to develop a permanent housing solution," Payton said Wednesday. "We will work with them on a monthly basis to get their plans together."
FEMA will pay for the homes, available rent-free until late 2012, Payton said. Occupants must show they are attempting to find permanent housing, she said. FEMA has also placed people in existing mobile home parks and apartments in the area.
Mobile homes were also used for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but the Joplin homes will be larger and built to higher construction and air quality standards, Payton said.
A total of 155 people were killed as a result of the massive Joplin tornado, the deadliest in the United States in more than 60 years.
(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Jerry Norton)