Industry News

FEMA trailer program for hurricane evacuees criticized

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The National Multi Housing Council and National Apartment Association issued a statement to express opposition to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's purchase of thousands of mobile homes that were intended to house hurricane evacuees but have remained unused. Jim Arbury, senior vice president of government affairs for the two groups, which represent developers and operators of apartment communities, said in the statement that FEMA spent about $1 billion on trailers that "are not being used because FEMA's own regulations do not allow them in flood plains. It's heartbreaking." He added, "The $1 billion wasted on those unoccupied trailers that sit in the Gulf Coast mud would shelter 200,000 evacuee families in an apartment for six months. Guaranteed rental vouchers to evacuees would open up remaining vacant apartments in cities such as Atlanta, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. It would also prevent the unfortunate eviction of evacuees who cannot pay their rent under the flawed sys...