Minneapolis city officials say they haven't issued many construction or repair permits since last week's tornado.
The tornado caused extensive damage to hundreds of homes on the city's north side. The city opened a satellite office there on Wednesday for residents and contractors who need to pull permits for repair work.
Brad Carter, a manager at the city's development review department, said a lot of property owners are probably still waiting for claim checks from their insurance companies before they start repairs.
"For some folks, they may just be coming off the initial shock and trying to wrap themselves around what they need to have fixed," Carter said. "And so there might be a bit of a lag there before they can really come in and know specifically what they need."
Carter said property owners have applied for about 30 construction or repair permits since the tornado. He says the permits are mostly for roofing and window repairs.
Red Cross mobile aid units on scene
Officials with the American Red Cross say they've helped several dozen people at two mobile aid stations in north Minneapolis on Wednesday.
The Red Cross is providing food and water, as well as counseling services, to tornado victims until the end of the week. American Red Cross representative Keith Hutcheson said the mobile units can stay longer if there's still need for their services.
"People are still seeking food," Hutcheson said. "And as well we're providing some mental health services as well as some basic medical health services -- to identify people whose needs have not been met yet. And we have that both at this site as well as up north."
The mobile units are located in Willard Park and in Jordan Park, and are open between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Demand for cash, food support down
Meanwhile, Hennepin County workers say demand for cash or food support among north Minneapolis residents has declined now that tornado recovery is in its second week. But officials warn that the recovery is far from over for the hundreds of displaced people.
Deborah Huskins, a director with the county's department for Human Services and Public Health, said finding more permanent housing will be one of the top priorities for renters who have been staying at overnight shelters or doubling up with family.
"But also I think we expect that there will be longer-term implications for people, [such as] kids who will be needing to find a new school if they moved from one school district to another before September starts. There could be some behavioral-health and mental-health needs that we start to see over time, given the trauma that some people have been through."
Mental-health counselors and other services are available at Century Plaza. It's one of 14 stops along a shuttle bus route for tornado survivors.
North Minneapolis residents with questions about their rights in the wake of last month's tornado can seek free advice at a legal clinic on Wednesday and Thursday.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman's office is helping staff the clinic. Freeman said the tornado is presenting a number of questions about landlord-tenant law.
Generally, if a natural disaster damages a house to the point where it is unlivable, the lease ends. That means the landlord does not have to provide a place for the renter to live, and the renter should get back a prorated share of the rent.
"The legal issues that come up: Is it truly uninhabitable and unfit for occupancy?" Freeman said. "That's something you need to work out with landlord. And what we're doing is helping folks make decisions of whether it truly is uninhabitable, or helping them contact the landlord and making sure the calls are returned."
The clinic is open from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center. Spanish-language translators will be on site.