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Final FEMA temporary housing unit leaves N.O.

20th February 2012   ·   0 Comments

At the peak of the housing program, more than 23K households lived in THUs throughout the city.

Last week marked a significant Hurricane Katrina recovery milestone for Orleans Parish, with the last household within the community living in a Federal Emergency Management Agency THU moving into their rebuilt home on Wednesday, February 8, and the removal of the remaining respective THU occurring this past Sunday, February 12.

“For more than six years, temporary housing units were located on private properties, group and industrial sites, and in commercial mobile home/RV parks across New Orleans while her residents recovered from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina,” said FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office Deputy Director of Programs Andre Cadogan. “The transition of this final household is a huge success for our agency, the state, the city, local nonprofits, and all others who contributed to helping return normalcy to New Orleans and those who live here.”

“At the end of the day, FEMA trailers were never meant to be permanent housing units, so I’m glad that our code enforcement efforts coupled with FEMA case work has helped individuals transition to permanent housing,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “Working together, we’ve gone from 230 trailers in December 2010 to zero today. Another page has turned in New Orleans’ post-Katrina history.”

In response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, FEMA conducted the largest housing operation in the history of the country, providing THUs (travel trailers, mobile homes and park models) to approximately 92,000 families throughout Louisiana. Approxi­mately 25 percent of these THUs were in service at the peak of the housing program in Orleans Parish.

FEMA has provided approximately $5.8 billion to assist 915,884 individuals and families in Louisiana for hurricanes Katrina and Rita, including $4.2 billion in housing assistance for rent, repairs and replacement housing and $1.6 billion in other needs assistance for such things as furniture, clothing and replacement vehicles.

This article originally published in the February 20, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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