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.