Letters from FEMA Cause Confusion Among Trailer Residents - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Letters from FEMA Cause Confusion Among Trailer Residents

Hundreds of letters from FEMA are causing confusion for residents living in government trailers. The letters went out to about 500 people who were given trailers immediately after the storm.

Coast attorney Riley Morse heads a legal assistance team helping storm victims. He says the letters tell residents "their right to remain in the trailers is terminated, and [they're] given 30 days to move."

A FEMA spokesman says that's not quite accurate. Len DeCarlo says the letters only ask for documentation to make sure those who were put in trailers are still eligible.

"We stopped that because once those letters went out, folks started to provide this documentation that we requested and we found out some were eligible," DeCarlo said.

DeCarlo points out some people are being asked to leave because they aren't eligible. He couldn't provide an exact number, but says it's small.

Morse disagrees with FEMA's idea of "small." He says plenty of people are getting termination notices.

"They have not sent the Guard out to throw them out, but had we not been out there pushing on their behalf, they would be gone," Morse said. 

Morse's press release claims FEMA officials have admitted they made a mistake in sending out the termination notices.

FEMA'S DeCarlo says no mistake was made. He reiterated that the letters were sent to only 500 people; no more were ever to be sent. And he says most of those 500 people have provided documentation so they can continue to live in their FEMA trailers.

Anybody who is asked to leave their FEMA housing has a 60 day window to appeal. FEMA officials want to remind everyone, if you are in a trailer, they will make an on-site visit every 60 to 90 days to make sure you are taking some steps to find permanent housing.

by Jeff Lawson

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