FEMA park closings include River Parishes

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 7, 2007


Staff Reporter

EDGARD- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced that all remaining group trailer sites throughout the state of Louisiana will be closed by May 31 2008. In addition, all trailer leases in commercial lots will be phased out by late 2008.

In the two years since Hurricane Katrina, 58,000 people have moved out of FEMA trailers and into permanent housing. Since August of this year FEMA has closed 800 trailers forcing occupants to find permanent housing.

The closings will affect the remaining 6,400 trailer residents.

In St. John the Baptist Parish, 73 trailers from the Alvin Perett Mobile Home Park and Lionel Bailey site in Edgard will have to be vacated by March 31, 2008. Additionally, 46 commercial sites in LaPlace and Reserve will be closed by late 2008.

FEMA spokesman Mike Weiner said services are being provided by FEMA to help trailer occupants move into permanent housing.

“We have rental and resource counselors available,” said Weiner. “They have a large database of available rental units in the entire state.”

FEMA will help transfer eligible trailer residents to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through a joint assistance program Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP). HUD, through public housing agencies, will assist eligible trailer residents in their move from FEMA housing into permanent rental housing.

Permanent housing will be entirely subsidized until March 1, 2008 when HUD will make DHAP participants responsible for $50 of rent per month until March 1, 2009 when DHAP will terminate and residents will be responsible for their rent unless they are eligible for coverage under HUD’s other assistance programs.