Hundreds Turn Out For MEMA's Alternative Housing Meeting

Nearly 19 months after the storm, thousands of people are still living in FEMA trailers. On Monday night, more than 300 Hancock County residents turned out to learn more about MEMA's Alternative Housing Program.

William Burton was born in Hancock County and has lived in Bay St. Louis for more than 20 years. He'd like to find a permanent home in the county, but like many others at this meeting, says it's tough to find permanent housing in the area.

"You can go along Highway 90 and Wavelend Avenue, and none of the apartment complexes that were there are being refurbished. There's no one doing anything with affordable housing. When you're on a fixed income, ma'am, you can't pay $1,000 rent and live," Burton said.

He believes one of the MEMA cottages would be a nice alternative to his FEMA trailer.

Katrina also displaced Big Al and his family. Al also believes the cottages are a good alternative, but wonders what's going to happen to people in FEMA's temporary housing if the deadline for moving isn't extended past September.

"Where are people going to go if they have no place to go? Live in a ditch? That's my problem. I don't have a place to go, just like a lot of people here don't have a lot of places to go. Where are we going to go?" Big Al asked.

The next meeting is Tuesday night at the Coliseum in Biloxi. The third meeting is Wednesday night at the Gautier Civic Center. Both are from 6 to 8 p.m.