Skip to comments.Critics Fear Trailer 'Ghettos'
Posted on 09/16/2005 11:00:33 PM PDT by BigFinn
On the dusty grounds of Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant in Texarkana, Tex., the recreational vehicles and mobile homes are arriving at a rate of 100 a day before being shipped out to the fringes of Hurricane Katrina's disaster zone.
Those trailers, among 300,000 to be purchased with nearly $5 billion of federal money, have become a focal point of criticism of the Bush administration's early rebuilding efforts. Some conservatives blanch at the cost. And many critics fret that mobile homes will hardly protect their residents from the next storm.
But most of all, housing experts -- conservatives and liberals alike -- worry that Federal Emergency Management Agency encampments will quickly become what former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called "ghettos of despair." Rental vouchers in a market with plenty of available housing would be cheaper and faster and provide better accommodations, they say.
"Three hundred thousand manufactured homes? People are screaming about that," fumed Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). "I tell you, FEMA is a disaster."
When Katrina struck, FEMA did what it has always done in the wake of a major hurricane: turned to its standing list of contractors, including several mobile home manufacturers. Within days, the agency began discussions with the Manufactured Housing Institute, and then purchased 20,000 fully furnished mobile homes and began shipping them to staging areas in Texarkana; Purvis, Miss.; Selma, Ala.; and Baton Rouge, La.
State government then began scouring parks, government land and private sites to establish communities of evacuees. Just as quickly, housing experts of all political stripes began to howl in protest.
"If they simply put poor people in mobile homes, they would be re-creating the same troubled neighborhoods that were destroyed," said Susan J. Popkin, a housing expert at the Urban Institute. "And we know how to do this better."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
It's never enough, is it? If they don't want to live in the trailers, I'm sure lots of other people would be happy to take them.
Those things are Hurricane Magnets.
Oh, okay. Lets build them all 300,000 dollar homes then...
I'm not crazy about the trailers, either, but there's not enough vacant housing in the area for ~one million displaced people, and it takes time to build. While admittedly not a preferable option, it may be the only practical one.
Lone Star is my customer, as they use our ERP system. The IT manager told me the manufacturers shipped the mobile homes without any furniture. So, they've got to position them with at least seven feet of clearance outside the door so the furniture can be brought in.
Buy Ashley Furniture. They're supplying the furniture to every single one of these units.
You know...with massive teams...and everyone agreeing to a 1300 sq ft house...with tin roofs....we could build houses there in NO for less than $30k each (concrete pad of course). But folks don't want to hear that.
Some people are fuming about your ball-less position on illegal immigration, Jeff. You can be a disaster, too
It used to be that Clothes Make the Man.
Now it's the House Makes the Man.
But remember this old saying?
Handsome is as Handsome does.
Living in a mobile home does not turn people into hopeless drug addicts or amoral gangsters.
That said, mobile homes are not good in places where there are tornados or hurricanes. But the idea that if a bunch of people live in trailers they'll become or remain lowlifes, but if they live in McMansions they'll miraculously turn into model citizens, emblems of moral rectitude is magical thinking.
Will the evacuees live at the Hilton or Motel 6 while they are waiting for their new homes to be built, too?
I think the trailers are a start, if they want more it's up to them. Other people have lost homes in disasters, I don't recall us buying them trailers or anything else...
Beats the hell out of tents.
Maybe they could have used all the downed trees & busted power poles to build temporary log cabins?
Or they could have used the lumber scattered by the storm to build cribbed-wall cabins, sort of like a lot of people in Utah & Nevada did with RR used ties.
Gotta walk 'afore ya kin run.
I think the worry is that once established, the trailer farms will end up being permanent government housing, and end up being filled with the low lifes , not that they will turn anyone into them. Anyone who can claw his way out will, and only the bottom will remain. Just like the high rise slums like Cabrini Green or Robert Taylor homes in my old home town of Chicago.
Actually...other than loans...the Fed's don't get involved in "giving" folks homes. They either move on their own or do the paperwork to purchase a home.
FEMA purchased the homes and they are placing them on federal land.
Ah, those Robert Taylor homes. Are they the ones that got demolished?
I get the point. It sure seems like a better plan would be to let people seep here and there and find their own places scattered about, and provide actual homes only for some that absolutely can't get it together.
The problem really is the problem people who can't/won't/don't know how to take responsibility for themselves. Whether they're in shelters, mobile homes, regular apartments, scattered about, clumped together, doesn't matter.
It's a deep problem with no simple answer (that I know of). If there is a simple answer I'd like to read about it. It is clear that a couple of generations of welfare has ruined a lot of lives, and made the illegitimacy rate skyrocket. People who can escape from that life just need to cut and run. Actually I've had ideas in the past such as Boys' Town type of things, kind of group homes, for the illegitimate kids with incompetent mothers. The mothers can stay too and learn skills, see their kids, and practice being responsible humans without ruining their kids and thereby churning out another generation just like them.
It's gone so wrong for so long, and throwing money and goods at people who don't know how to act isn't going to help one bit.
There are hurricane ravaged areas of Florida that have nothing but government bought trailers with people living in them, and some of these hurricanes happend years ago.
." Rental vouchers in a market with plenty of available housing would be cheaper and faster and provide better accommodations, they say"
What rental property, you've got to have something for them to live in while you rebuild. I'm not for rebuilding No but it's obvious the government will not be deterred by common sense.
This is really kinda funny considering the story a while back about folks in California paying a cool million bucks to live in mobile homes near the beaches and become "sandy footed chic".
Maybe what these folks need is a good PR firm to create a "chic" image of trailer dwelling for them too. How about "Bayou Bungalows"???
That's kinda catchy, doncha think?
All these "evacuees" should be relocated to San Fransicko.
It will only turn into a ghetto if the people there have no respect for themselves or other's property.
I hope they can be better than that.
They should name the trailer park "Evacueeville" or E-ville" for short.
A trailer isn't going to last anywhere near as long as those high rise projects. Even with excellent care, they won't make twenty years. And these trailers are going to be used hard. In four or five years at the most, people will HAVE to be looking for a different living arrangement.
If this catches on, there will have to be different names for all of the different areas and types of trailers.
Famous last words. Once established these kind of slums have amazing resilience.
The piney woods of Texas sure as Hell isn't any thing like New Orleans. Somebody is in for a shock.
its the people, not the house that makes a ghetto
No matter what is done,it will never be enough.More,more and more.
what ever housing they get, Blanco and Nagin each should have to live a year one of them
The manufacturer is a close relative of Dick Cheney. (sarcasm)
A ghetto is not a place.
What makes her such an "expert"?!!!
Prior to joining the Urban Institute, Dr. Popkin was an Associate at Abt Associates, Inc. Before coming to Abt, Dr. Popkin was an Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, and a Senior Research Specialist at the Prevention Research Center, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).
1988 Ph.D., Northwestern University, Program in Human Development and Social Policy.
1986 M.A., Northwestern University, Program in Human Development and Social Policy.
1982 B.S., Northwestern University, Program in Human Development and Social Policy.
Dr. Susan Popkin has more than 10 years of experience in conducting research and analysis on housing and welfare issues.
Abt Associates applies rigorous research and consulting techniques to a wide range of issues in social and economic policy, international development, business research and consulting, and clinical trials and registries.
One of the largest for-profit government and business research and consulting firms in the world.
In the United States, our work for the Environmental Protection Agency contributes to improved policies and regulations to reduce harmful pollutants. We also conduct highly sophisticated surveys, such as the annual National Immunization Survey for the Centers for Disease Control (the largest federally sponsored telephone survey), and we have managed clinical trials for AIDS/HIV vaccines.
No, it is NEVER ENOUGH...
Launched in 1992, the $5 billion HOPE VI program
What is HOPE VI?
The HOPE VI Program was developed as a result of recommendations by National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing, which was charged with proposing a National Action Plan to eradicate severely distressed public housing.
The Commission recommended revitalization in three general areas: physical improvements, management improvements, and social and community services to address resident needs.
History and Background
National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing
The HOPE VI Program, originally known as the Urban Revitalization Demonstration (URD), was developed as a result of recommendations by the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing, which was charged with proposing a National Action Plan to eradicate severely distressed public housing. The Commission recommended revitalization in three general areas:
* physical improvements,
* management improvements, and
* social and community services to address resident needs.
As a result, HOPE VI was created by the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub.L. 102-389), approved on October 6, 1992.
HOPE VI operated solely by congressional appropriation from FY 1993 - 1999. The FY 1999 appropriation included the congressional authorization of HOPE VI as Section 24 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937. Section 24 was implemented in the FY 2000 NOFA, and was reauthorized in conjunction with the American Dream Downpayment Act of 2003. Grants are governed by each Fiscal Year's Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), as published in the Federal Register, and the Grant Agreement executed between each recipient and HUD.
Planning Grants 1993-1995
Revitalization Grants 1993-2003
Demolition Grants 1996-2003
That's my worry. What is the plan for encouraging and helping these folks to become self-supporting?
Notice how it's not the good people of New Orleans who are being asked. Just like the "experts" in the MSM said that the people of New Orleans hated GWB because of the Hurricane. Of course, when they actually asked the people who are not thugs, but good citizens, they rightly explained that the feds were not responsible for primary intervention. The "Feds" can't come in until asked.
So why don't they talk to the people who have been living in the 'Dome if they prefer to stay where they are or have a brand new, furnished trailer close to their home and with easy and free transportation in and out of the city? I think they know the answer they will get. But of course "those" people don't know what's best for them.
The worst of two worlds.
It's the people, not the housing, that makes for a "troubled neighborhood."
"I think the worry is that once established, the trailer farms will end up being permanent government housing"
No, it won't take them long to tear the trailers up to the point where they will be uninhabitable.
Maybe not, but it does have an effect on their dental health somehow.
"I think the trailers are a start, if they want more it's up to them. Other people have lost homes in disasters, I don't recall us buying them trailers or anything else..."
Hell, it was good enough for the folks in Florida after Charley last year. Some are still living in them while there homes are being rebuilt. I guess if your poor from NO it's not good enough? I'm sick of this BS!
Those poor folks in MS would LOVE to have a temporary mobile home right now. Beats the the back seat of your car, if you still have one.
It worked for Jim Rockford.
Just keep the wheels on them...
Sure they'll be killing each other in these ghettos-to-go, but that's what they were doing in the government's Projects, so they'll feel right at home with the sound of gunfire at night.
Just what I need to see...."spinners" on a mobile home. I did see them on an 18 wheeler.
Exactly. And that's the problem with setting up evacuee trailer parks, and the problem with our national approach to public housing projects in general.
Poverty is largely in individial issue, but it has a critical mass -- pile enough poor people together, and it becomes harder for those striving for a better life to succeed. An ambitious kid trying to make a buck mowing lawns can't do it if there isn't a lawn for a mile in any direction.
The old model of public housing is this. Create an artificial community without any services other than those provided by the government -- no restaurants, shops, or jobs. Stick a bunch of desperate people in a neighborhood where all they see is other deperate people, where there aren't any cops or nurses or architects living down the street, where success is defined as getting out and the only role models kids see who have any initiative are the pimps and dealers.
The government doesn't create jobs, but it can create -- and has often created -- an environment in which it's nearly impossible for the businesses that create jobs to take root.
The article rightly points out that both conservative and liberal experts are leery of the trailer plan, and that reflects a similar consensus that has emerged on old-style housing projects. They were fine during the New Deal era, when the priority was to get people into any kind of decent housing, but there are better approaches.
Rather than try to build taxpayer-funded Potemkin villages, help people move into real neighborhoods, get jobs and get (back) on their feet. Whether you approach the issue from the liberal approach of giving poor people stuff or the conservative approach of encouraging them to stand on their own two feet, the old-model housing projects fail at both.
If the trailers are going to house people for a few weeks or months, fine. They're better than the Astrodome. But they must be treated as a way station, not a destination.
Nah. "Car-ville", and drag a hundred dollar bill through it for an opening ceremony (I still think you'd get the DNC).
Is it a public or privately owned company? Do you know the symbol? Thanks.