In August 2016 a heavy three-day rainfall resulted in historic flooding in parts of south Louisiana. The events surrounding the flood have been called “unprecedented,” “a 500-year event,” and “catastrophic” just to name a few. This historic flood led to much damage and despair, washing away generations of memories and leaving behind an aftermath of irreparable debris. Although the flood occurred almost three years ago, many people have yet to fully recover.
In a recent article by WAFB, WAFB provides that exactly 171 families in Louisiana are still living in FEMA owned mobile home units. The Louisiana residents were provided the mobile homes in 2016 after the flood and are normally able to occupy the homes for up to 18 months. FEMA has extended the program four times allowing the residents to occupy the units for 32 months. However, FEMA now states that after April 30, 2019 no more extensions will be given. Marking April 30th as its absolute deadline.
FEMA’s April 30th deadline leaves the current occupants of the FEMA mobile home units with only two choices– move-out or be penalized. The penalty includes rent at market price and a flat fee for the trailer which will be calculated by the trailer’s size and location. One resident occupying the mobile home units has stated that it is an unfair assumption to believe that everyone has been given enough time to recover. She states that everybody is different and so are their circumstances.
FEMA advises all occupants to contact local state programs if they need additional assistance after April 30th. The local programs include Restore Louisiana and Rapid Rehousing. Both programs are working with residents to complete permanent housing plans or identify temporary solutions.
The Whaley Law Firm has been an advocate for Louisiana flood victims. In 2019 The Whaley Law Firm filed suit against the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD) arguing that HUD is violating the law by holding up grant money. If the lawsuit is successful it will provide immediate access to grant funds for many Louisiana flood victims. These funds could essentially provide assistance to many of the residents occupying FEMA mobile home units.