New Orleans may set June 1 trailer deadline
by Michelle Krupa, The Times-Picayune
Thursday March 27, 2008, 9:06 AM
New Orleans residents still living in travel trailers may have to vacate them by June 1, unless they can prove to City Hall that their rebuilding plans or other circumstances make that timeline impossible, two city officials said Wednesday.
While Recovery Director Ed Blakely and City Councilwoman Stacy Head said they don't want to create anxiety for homeowners living in trailers while they rebuild, removing the ubiquitous metal boxes is a necessary part of restoring neighborhoods.
"We do not want to be trailer city," Blakely said during a meeting of the council's Recovery Committee.
There is fear that the trailers could be missiles in a hurricane, and the council wants the trailers gone before the hurricane season hits.
An estimated 7,200 trailers remain in New Orleans, with 202 of themassembled at playgrounds and other public sites, and the rest installedon private properties, Blakely said. Most people still living intrailers are older than 50 and are caught in financial limbo: even withRoad Home and insurance payments, they can't afford to rebuild theirhomes, he said.
Blakely said the city has been "putting together some lending programs to assist people with that gap."
But those programs will not be available before June.