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UP OR OUT

9.28.2007


Gulf coast cities are trying to get rid of all the people who haven't found their way out of the FEMA trailers and into a home of their own and they are finding some success. Cities try to shut FEMA trailer parks - USATODAY.com. They don't like the way it looks and they feel it is hampering overall progress. I guess they feel that most of these folks are just lazy and will stay in that trailer until the government finds somewhere to put them. If you can't show you are making progress towards rebuilding, you're out of there. Legal aid firms are trying to fight to keep them there until they are ready to move out, but they aren't winning every case and some of their clients end up homeless.

"It's an act of tough love," says Pascagoula, Miss., Mayor Matthew Avara. "We don't want to put any unneeded hardship on any of our people, but at the same time, we've got to move forward, and the way to move forward is to close down these parks."

It seems a little harsh to me, but I know this is probably a good thing for many of the 65,600 families still in trailers more than 2 years later. What happened to them was horrible, but everyone has to move forward and I can understand the need for these FEMA symbols to be gone for the city trying to rebuild itself. It isn't impossible. At the end of 2006, more than 100,000 families were still in trailers, so tens of thousands are doing what they need to do. I would like to see if, of the 65K left, how many used to be on government assistance. That might have something to do with them not taking the initiative; expecting the government to provide them with their next housing. You can see (below) that almost 80% are still in Louisiana.

More than two years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 65,641 FEMA trailers are still occupied. Where they are:
Louisiana: 47,897
Mississippi: 16,475
Texas: 1,001
Alabama: 268
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