Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Monday, January 22

FEMA to Extend Housing Program to Aug. 31


FEMA has extended the temporary housing program by six months, Gov. Haley Barbour announced Friday.

Residents who are living in FEMA-supplied trailers now have until Aug. 31 to find permanent housing. The original deadline was Feb. 28.

FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security jointly notified the governor, who had asked for a year's extension in December.

"I am grateful the Bush administration has granted this necessary extension of the temporary housing program," Barbour said in a release to the media. "Even though the number of Mississippians relying on this program is reduced each month as housing is rebuilt, it is clear thousands of our citizens will be without permanent housing six months from now.

"I am confident the Bush administration will continue to work with state and local officials to address the need for temporary housing which will exist after this six-month extension."
Rep. Gene Taylor, D-4, agreed the extension was a good thing.

"Six months is a start," Taylor said. "If in four months a lot of people are still in the trailers, I will write another letter asking for another extension."

Taylor added that he continues to push for the trailers to be saved and stored at a place like Camp Shelby, for the next disaster.

About 92,000 trailers scattered across Mississippi and Louisiana are housing about 250,000 storm victims, based on FEMA's calculations. Mississippi had more than 43,000 at its peak in 2006. There currently are 30,141 trailers in the state, according to FEMA.

Trailers began arriving in mid-September 2005 and have been set up on private property, in FEMA parks and in private trailer parks.

An official announcement by the Department of Homeland Security is expected early next week.


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