September 13, 2005
Hundreds of thousands displaced by Hurricane Katrina received good news today. FEMA’s new director says a top priority will be finding them homes. And as News 12 shows you, the search is going on right here in the CSRA.
“We are going to get people out of shelters and move on and get them the help they need,” said David Paulison.
Two days into the job and acting director for FEMA David Paulison is ready to move. Move 200,000 mobile homes down to the Gulf Coast.
“All I know is the guy just called and said we wanna know what kind of inventory you have, what size it is and how quickly you can have it down here,” said Scott Brinson, Aiken Housing Center.
These questions are being asked by FEMA all over to mobile home retailers like Scott Brinson. The agency prefers singlewide homes with air and heat, also furniture, all falling under $28,000.
Brinson only has a couple on his lot. But next door…
“We’ve got about 20 RV’s that fall in the realm of what they’re looking for, about 10 single section homes we can help them out with,” said Trey Ledbetter, Ledbetter Housing Center.
And if FEMA likes Ledbetter’s selling price, these new homes are ready to hit the road.
But with a mass exodus of RV’s and manufactured homes, the lot could soon be close to an empty lot and that could mean a strain on customers and businesses in the area.
More than 200 people come visit this center every month and restocking could take 3-4 months.
“It gives us a sense of satisfaction, helping people, we also feel like by doing the right thing it will come back to us in the long run,” Ledbetter said.
In the meantime, he’s asking his customers to be patient so others can have a home.
Ledbetter should know in the next 7-10 days if FEMA decides to buy from him. Overall, FEMA is trying to put 300,000 households together. 100,000 right now are in hotels, motels and rental areas.