WILLIAMSTOWN -- Federal disaster money is making its way into the hands of residents of The Spruces Mobile Home Park.
Debra Young, a spokeswoman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Wednesday that 189 residents of The Spruces have applied for individual assistance, and 80 have received grant funding from FEMA so far.
"Assistance is determined on a case-by-case basis. The maximum grant is $30,200," she said.
In receiving the grants, some people are being required to purchase flood insurance, she said.
"If the applicant's damaged dwelling is found to reside in a Special Hazard Flood Area -- and the applicant is the homeowner -- if they receive an award to repair that home, the only requirement is for the homeowner to get and maintain flood insurance on that property for the life of that property," she said.
The Spruces is in a Special Flood Hazard Area, which is defined by the National Flood Insurance Program as land covered by floodwaters of the base flood (100-year flood), according to FEMA's website.
With homes built in a 100-year floodplain required to be flood-proof under the current state building code, some Spruces' residents planning to rebuild may face raising their homes anywhere from three to 11 feet above ground.
Town Manager Peter L. Fohlin said five years ago a flood analysis was done of The Spruces to determine how high floodwaters could get in the park.
In that analysis most of the park is color-coded yellow, which means it can be flooded to a depth of four to six feet in a 100-year storm.
"So the elevated height would need to be five to seven feet," Fohlin said.
In addition, residents deciding to rebuild may have to add another foot to the building code's elevation requirement based on the National Flood Insurance Program's floodplain management regulations.
Even though some Spruces residents are slowly being allowed to return home, many others have already sought alternative housing.
Jennifer Hohn, executive director of the North Adams Housing Authority, said the agency has received 13 applications from Spruces' residents.
Three families have already been placed, with one more expected to be placed by Friday, and another by next week, she said. She said they expect to have 11 of the 13 families in housing by the end of the month.
Patti Volpi, housing manager for the Adams Housing Authority, said the agency has had eight people from The Spruces apply for housing, and is in the process of placing one of them.
Still, housing continues to be an immediate need for many of the 273 Spruces residents displaced by the Aug. 28 flooding.
Robin Lenz, coordinator of the Interfaith Emergency Response Team, said the organization is currently focused on supporting emergency and short-term housing for displaced residents.
"We've been trying to get people back on their feet, but it's a long process," Lenz said.
As the Federal Emergency Management Agency is able to respond to people's needs, it takes the burden off the Interfaith Emergency Res-ponse Team, she said.
However, there are about 35 people staying in area motels that the organization continues to provide financial assistance to, she said.
"We continue to accept donations through the First Congregational Church -- United Church of Christ to go toward making sure these people have roofs over their heads," she said.
To reach Meghan Foley,