Alabama City Turning Away FEMA Trailers

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May 20, 2011 by   5 Comments

Dozens of trailers supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) are now on the ground in Alabama. They are set up as temporary housing for people who lost their homes in the April 27 tornadoes. However, none of them are in the hard-hit city of Cordova and it is causing a lot of tension.

According to a report by FOX 6 News in Birmingham, some residents are upset because they have nowhere to live, but are not being allowed to get one of the FEMA units. The issue is a Cordova city ordinance which prohibits certain types of mobile homes. The mayor says double-wide trailers are allowed in certain areas of the city but the FEMA trailers are singlewide.

Residents say those who lost their homes cannot afford the utilities and other expenses associated with bigger double-wide mobile homes.

Mayor Jack Scott says he is looking at other options like finding abandoned homes that may be available to rent or buy. He is is also bringing in a modular home expert.

Scott says he understands the need for new places to live, but he fears with the FEMA units Cordova will turn into a trailer park and hurt the future of the city.

“We want other people, young people, professional people to came here,” said Scott. “We don’t want them in a trailer. We want them to build here.”

Some Cordova residents do not share the mayor’s sentiments on the trailers.

“They lost everything,” said resident Judy Fielding. “They can’t put doublewides in here because they can’t afford the utilities. That is what we face in Cordova. We need FEMA’s help.”

Mayor Scott says he is fearful mobile homes will bring down property values.

This issue is expected to be a hot topic at the Cordova City Council meeting on Tuesday night.

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5 Responses to “Alabama City Turning Away FEMA Trailers”

  1. Robert Lenox on May 20th, 2011 1:33 pm

    Just put a time limit on how long the trailers will be allowed and then remove them. This will buy you time on how to hadle the situation from then on.

  2. WTF on May 20th, 2011 2:06 pm

    You know what brings down property values… a ton full of people without homes. I agree with Mr. Lenox… put a time limit on the length of time they can use the trailers and let the poor people move-in!

  3. bb on May 20th, 2011 4:07 pm

    I disagree with approval based on a time limit UNLESS they were consolidated and placed in one area.
    First, we all know that once there is approval in local government, it never goes away. Look at temporary taxes…most are automatic renewal and it takes voter action to get rid of it, even though it was temporary. So, they need to make it go away by default, without an option to renew.
    Second, anyone familiar with the hurricane fallout knows how FEMA parks turn out. Consolidating them would make it more bearable when the timeline is busted and the park stays.

    Besides all that, the excuse that the utilities are not affordable is BS. People just want something for free, and right now it comes in the form of a single-wide. It just happens that the city does not allow this freebie.

  4. Jeff McGee on May 21st, 2011 10:54 am

    The Mayor and others has to realize these units are temporary housing the people need to get back on their feet ASAP. They can override the codes for situations like this if they wanted too.

  5. Dennis Johnson on May 22nd, 2011 12:59 am

    This is crazy, people have lost everything and again politicians are not helping the people most in need. Everyone does not have all the benefits in life of some of them with more dollars. I think this is going to lead to more and more decent as it does not even make common sense to just help people.