Thursday, November 08, 2012

18 months after a storm, people in Missouri are still looking for a home

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, FEMA is hard at work providing temporary housing for people who lost their homes in the storm. The last big storm that FEMA provided this service for was a tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri in 2001. Eighteen months after that storm, many are still living in the FEMA mobile homes. They remain for a variety of reasons, not earning enough for an apartment, unable to find work after the storm, or simply never getting a chance. Their time in the free housing is about to run out, FEMA will begin charging rent to those people in June.

From Reuters Alert Net, writer Kevin Murphy introduces us to some of the people still using the housing. 

Edwards, who does debris cleanup for the nearby city of Duquesne, Missouri, said she is unable to find rental property because she has seven children. "I have good credit, I have never fallen behind in payments but no one will give me a chance," she said.
Leslie Armitage said she and her husband planned to move out this fall but recently learned that state assistance they expected in paying first and last month's rent is unavailable because of his income. She feels cramped in their two-bedroom home with two dogs. "I can't wait to get out, seriously," she said.
James Williamson, who works two part-time jobs as a cook at fast-food restaurants, said residents of the FEMA units face a stigma.
"There are a lot of stereotypes about FEMA trailer people - no cars, free rent, free this, free that, people not working," said Williamson, who planned to move out as he pursues his GED and better jobs. "I'm a guy who believes in moving forward."
Jason Calvin, whose lost his job as a cable TV account manager because of the tornado, said health issues and not being able to afford a car have hurt his chances of finding work. He is upset that FEMA will soon be seeking rent.
"I think that is totally asinine and ridiculous," Calvin said. "If we could afford $757 a month, we wouldn't need low-income housing."
Williamson and some other residents, do not fault FEMA.
"I'm in total agreement with them charging rent," said Williamson. "With the other price-gouging that went on after the tornado, I don't see how people can complain about what they have out here."

No comments: