Waveland Leaders Crackdown On Unauthorized Trailer Use

A camper with a water front view, two FEMA trailers and a camper on a single lot where a home once stood, and a summer picnic tent next to a camper trailer. Waveland leaders say each of these temporary set ups violates city ordinances, and Ward 1 Alderwoman Lili Stahler says the list of offenders is much longer.

"Trailers were meant for emergency housing. Now, almost two years later, people are bringing in trailers to use as second homes, summer homes, beach cabanas. We have trailers in residential neighborhoods that are being used as businesses, and we have ordinances on the books that say, 'No trailers in Waveland,'" Stahler said.

"Nobody in the community wants anyone who is deserving of alternative housing, that is planning on rebuilding, or is in the process of rebuilding, they don't want to penalize them. It's just the ones that are abusing it," Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo said.

Mayor Longo says the crackdown is not meant to hurt anyone, but two years after Katrina, the number of temporary structures should be decreasing. Leaders worry having campers and trailers where they aren't authorized will hurt property values, especially for those who have invested a lot of time, money and effort into rebuilding their homes.

Lili Stahler says she's getting complaints about some people renting their FEMA trailers to others, and she's ready to let FEMA know about it.

"We don't want Waveland to be a trailer city. Now there seem to be abandon trailers, trailers being used not by the person who signed for the trailer. And I feel if anybody gives me a complaint, I will turn it in to FEMA. I will blow the whistle on anybody who is using a trailer not in the say it was intended," Stahler said.

Again, residents who are planning to rebuild or in the process of rebuilding will not be affected by the crackdown. FEMA trailers will be permitted in the city until March 2009.