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.
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