Jun 8, 2009
At the end of May, 3450 families were still in trailers or temporary housing, victims of Hurricane Katrina. At first they were told they would have to get out of the trailers by May 31, although they had no place to go. Most of the homes destroyed by the hurricane in the poorer districts have not yet been replaced or repaired.
Next housing officials announced that families could buy their trailers for $5.00. Five dollars? There has to be a catch – and of course, there was. In order to stay in a trailer, a person would have to have the money to pay for a septic system and insurance. These Katrina victims are still here precisely because they are the poor. Rich people in New Orleans already are back in their homes with insurance settlements.
But the great sale deal only applies to 1160 of the 3446 trailers now in use.
FEMA made all kinds of promises to assist the poor of New Orleans. Some 16,000 families were supposedly assisted by their housing assistance program. But thousands more have nowhere to go because FEMA didn’t have enough help at the housing authority to process all the applications.
In other words, some New Orleans residents were swept up by a hurricane but – even worse – swept under the carpet by the government.