Pascagoula Resident Says Government Should Pay For Homes To Be Raised

Tearing down the walls is just about all James Waltman can do to his Pascagoula home. Repairing is out of the question right now.

"That's the water line," Waltman says as he points to the wall.

More than five feet of water flooded his home during Katrina, ruining everything inside.

"When we came back I said, 'Good, our house is still standing,'"Waltman says.

All was good, until he got a letter from the city.

"We got a letter in the mail that said we either have got to move the house, tear it down, or raise it two feet," Waltman says.

"I would have just as soon seen it all tore down and laying in the street, because at first I had the hopes that I could at least get started back over. Now I'm having all of my hopes snatched away from me."

Waltman says he doesn't have the money to raise his home.

"It's going to cost $29,500 just to lift it."

And that doesn't include the thousands of dollars more it will cost to repair the inside.

"All the sheet rock, all of the flooring, all of the appliances, half of the electrically, all of the plumbing, all of the gas lines. It's just putting it financially out of my reach."

Waltman says it's all not fair. The city gave him the permit to build his home 20 years ago.

"It meant a lot to me. I built it myself. I paid for it."

If the rules change, he says the government should have to pay.

"If you are the one who changed the rules, well, get your tools and come down right beside me and help me jack it up," Waltman says.

Waltman says if he doesn't get the help he needs to bring his house into new flood standards, he'll end up living on the streets.