Alabama City Continues Ban on FEMA Units
Frustrations erupted Tuesday night (May 24) at a city council meeting in Cordova, Ala., where 200 people turned out for a discussion on the city’s ban of single-wide trailers for relief victims.
The Birmingham News reported that although several people urged the council to abolish the ban, the council meeting was adjourned without any action taken. Mayor Jack Scott told the crowd the council would take the matter under consideration. He said after the meeting that he doubted the council would change the ordinance in a future meeting.
The city’s ordinance, updated in 2008, bans single-wide trailers but permits double-wides in four locations in the city. It allows modular homes to be placed anywhere.
The ordinance blocks tornado survivors who lost their homes in the April 27 tornado from being able to live in single-wide manufactured homes that are offered temporarily for use by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Scott has said the ordinance was imposed to keep property values up and to encourage people to put houses on vacant lots.
People held signs against the ordinance. One read: “Trailor does not = trash.”
Scott has encouraged survivors to look into modular homes as an option.
Karen Robbins, a Cordova resident, said she had checked into modular homes and found the cheapest one costs $105,000.
“How many people in Cordova can afford $105,000?” she asked. Her question drew applause.
Scott responded: “You might have your sights set too high.”
Fred Porter, a member of the city’s zoning board, told the crowd that anyone who lived in a single-wide trailer before the storm would be grandfathered under the ordinance. He said they must have a permit before placing another trailer on the spot.
The mayor said he was pleased with the meeting because people were allowed to vent their frustrations.