All Louisiana Trailer Parks Closing On Schedule
As Louisiana's FEMA trailer parks close, resources are available to help hurricane survivors locate and secure permanent
housing. FEMA maintains a database of thousands of available rental units at
FEMA service centers have opened in many of the larger group sites for immediate assistance. Hurricane survivors living
in FEMA trailers who haven't found permanent housing should call FEMA at 1-888-294-2822. To learn about eligibility
for rental and relocation assistance, contact FEMA at 1-800-621-3362.
FEMA Switches Katrina, Rita Case Management To States
Special relief funds to be used for program
(MARCH 29, 2008) -- Cora C. Brown of Kansas City, Mo., left a portion of her estate to the United States to be used as
a special fund solely for relief of human suffering caused by natural disasters. It established the Cora Brown fund in
1977, a last resort fund used to help victims of presidentially-declared disasters with disaster-related needs that can't be
met by any other means.
(FEMA), along with Louisiana and Mississippi, is planning a new two-phase disaster case management program using
Cora Brown funds to assist hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors until March 1, 2009. It will replace a current agreement
with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), which ends March 31, 2008. UMCOR has served as the lead
organization for Katrina Aid Today, a national consortium consisting of nine organizations providing case management
services for hurricane survivors.
Case management involves referral assistance for applicants with continuing needs like housing, restoration of benefits,
access to voluntary agency resources, furniture, utilities and services, transportation, employment, application assistance,
health and well being.
The first phase of the new program - from April 1 through May 31, 2008 - provides Cora Brown funds directly to
Louisiana and Mississippi for the states to provide case management services to hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors.
The second phase of the program, from June 1, 2008, to March 1, 2009 will focus on providing case management
services through a state-managed Disaster Case Management Pilot program in Louisiana and Mississippi. Through this
pilot, case management services will be provided to survivors affected by Katrina and Rita to help them achieve
sustainable permanent housing solutions.
Katrina Survivors Include FEMA In Trailer Lawsuits
According to press reports, nearly 100 hurricane Katrina survivors from Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas have
included FEMA in lawsuits filed last year against dozens of trailer maunufacturers involving formaldehyde in FEMA
trailers. The lawsuits were consolidated last year and transferred to a federal court in New Orleans.
Agency Looking At Other Emergency Housing
As a result of formaldehyde concerns FEMA is looking into alternatives to it's controversial trailers. In a press release,
the agency said it has "expanded its effort to identify and evaluate alternatives" to the trailers Katrina and Rita survivors
have suffered in since the hurricanes.
FEMA has looked at 40 different models and prototypes and will also evaluate occupied "gulf coast-type" cottages with
front porches and other types of housing developed for Katrina/Rita households. They have already looked at modular
folding houses that could convert to permanent housing, a steel modular modernist-design unit already in use in some
areas, and housing units that basically are converted shipping containers. Costs range from $15,000 to $150,000, with
most falling between $20,000 and $50,000.
Factors included in evaluating the units are how adaptable they would be under various environmental, geographic, and
cultural or conditions required by local government; how well the units can accommodate or help provide for daily living
essentials; how fast units could be made ready; and how cost-effective the unit would be in absolute terms and in terms
of its value relative to other housing options. Also, they be small, capable of HUD certification and suitable for group sites
or privately owned sites, with a sizable number available for disabled persons. Providers must be able to deliver a certain
number of housing units immediately or within a short time frame."
To avoid a repeat of air quality or formaledehyde concerns, FEMA says it is using a "holistic" approach to indoor air
quality control measures by "eliminating or limiting use of products that contain pollutants, enclosing potentially harmful
air pollutant sources in impermeable barriers, using filtration/ventilation to decrease airborne pollutants, requiring rigorous
quality control measures during the manufacturing. process."
Relocation Assistance From Texas Ends
(APRIL 18, 2008) -- FEMA's Relocation Assistance extended deadline for hurricane Katrina or Rita survivors in Texas
has ended. Survivors in Mississippi and Louisiana have until August 31, 2008 to get assistance through the program.
Relocation Assistance allows hurricane survivors displaced from their primary residence as a result of the hurricanes
reimbursement of up to $4,000 in relocation expenses incurred since Katrina.
Total FEMA disbursements cannot exceed $26,200, and the applicant must not have received funds from any other state,
federal or voluntary agency subsidized travel home program.
To date, more than 7,300 families have been helped with moving and transportation costs.
Returning residents must relocate to housing that is not provided by FEMA and is not a hotel or motel. For those
hurricane survivors already living in FEMA trailers, FEMA pays moving expenses to a FEMA-funded rental anywhere in
the continental United States.
Relocation assistance is limited to travel costs including airfare, train, bus and/or a rental vehicle. Furniture transportation
expenses also are eligible, including commercially rented equipment for hauling and commercially purchased moving
materials or moving services. Evidence of expenses, such as receipts, must be provided. Mileage, gas and other
travel-related expenses such as food incurred while using a privately owned vehicle are not eligible costs. Moving costs
for large luxury items such as boats or recreational vehicles are not eligible expenses either.
FEMA Reminds Landlords To Register Resources
FEMA is encouraging both landlords with available rental property and displaced hurricane survivors looking for housing to
call the FEMA Louisiana Rental Resources Department at 1-888-294-2822. Representatives are available Monday to
Saturday, 8 AM to 6 PM to assist callers. Landlords and applicants may also call the national FEMA Help line at
1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing-impaired, Monday to Saturday, 7 AM to 7
PM. Spanish translators are available.
People with Internet access can search rental properties https://asd.fema.gov/inter/hportal/home.htm FEMA's housing
portal site, or Louisiana's housing site www.lahousingsearch.org
Landlords calling to register should be prepared to answer a few basic questions related to their rental unit, such as type of
dwelling, number of bedrooms and baths, handicapped accessibility, pet policy, monthly rental amount and other items of
interest to renters.
"It's About More Than Just A Hurricane!"