Just when you think things couldn’t get worse in New Orleans, and when federal legislation for recovery in the Gulf Coast has finally been introduced, FEMA announces trailer evictions.
Please read the post below from the Katrina Information Network. And if you haven’t already, please urge your Representative to co-sponsor the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act through the UUA’s online action campaign and/or by collecting signatures from your congregation to mail to your Representative.
FEMA has announced that tomorrow, on May 30, 2009, it will act to evict thousands of residents from FEMA trailers in the Gulf States in spite of the fact that these residents have had limited support and lots of barriers in their efforts to find permanent housing. Please act now to stop this travesty.
Mr. Ernest Hammond is a case in point. Hammond, a 70 year old, former New Orleans homeowner, could not get financial help from Louisiana’s Road Home program for his triplex since the housing structure was ineligible for a grant. To help himself, Mr. Hammond has collected almost $10,000 in aluminum cans but that won’t even begin to cover the costs to rebuild his home in the 7th Ward. His FEMA trailer is keeping him off the street while he struggles to return home.
Mr. Hammond is one of thousands of families living in FEMA trailers because they are either caught in a web of deeply flawed, bureaucratic home repair grant programs, a victim of all too rampant contractor fraud or simply priced out of a rising rental markets where affordable housing is being demolished or gentrified.

No one chooses to live in a FEMA trailer, but it is better than no home at all. Evicting residents without providing access to safe, permanent housing will only lead to homelessness and further destabilize families.
Please take a minute to click and send an email or make a call to let the Administration know that evictions are a bad idea.

Tell President Obama and Congress to extend the May 30th FEMA trailer program deadline!

Say NO to FEMA’s decision to forcibly evict residents from trailers!

The Facts:

  • Nearly 5,000 FEMA trailers continue to provide housing to residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina
    • 2,800 FEMA trailers in Louisiana, with 1, 000 trailers located in Orleans Parish, LA
    • 2,000 FEMA trailers in Mississippi
  • Most FEMA trailer occupants are elderly and/or disabled persons in desperate need of effective support and case management services to stabilize their housing and wellbeing.
  • FEMA trailer occupants are displaced homeowners and renters still struggling to rebuild their homes or secure affordable housing after Katrina and Rita.

Hold our elected leaders to their promise of Gulf Region recovery, and demand equal protection under the same human rights policy that the U.S. government applies to displaced persons in other countries.

Tell FEMA to provide an extension to all homeowners and renters living in FEMA trailers to allow them sufficient time to repair their homes and/or find alternative housing.

Additional time would allow:

  • Louisiana homeowners to appeal denials of Road Home grants, or go to a Road Home closing.
  • Mississippi homeowners to be matched with available Katrina cottages that sit idle.
  • Renters more time to obtain rental assistance or other permanent affordable housing.

Call the Obama Administration and FEMA to demand action now! Tell our government not to carry forward yesterday’s short-sighted policies and to apply the same human rights standards to displaced persons in the Gulf States. Demand a stop to the FEMA trailer deadline and the guarantee of safe, permanent housing in the Gulf Region.

  • HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan (202) 708-0417
  • DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano (202) 282-8000; (202) 282-8495
  • FEMA Administrator Fugate (202) 646-2500

Ready or Not, Katrina Victims Lose Temporary Housing‘, The New York Times, 05-8-09

Residents keep nervous eye on trailers‘, The Times-Picayune, 05-03-09

About the Author
Susan Leslie

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