Pascagoula variance to allow FEMA trailers nears expiration

Published 7:12 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2007

FEMA trailers still line the streets of Pascagoula, with many of them parked in front of homes with residents busy rebuilding.

The city’s zoning laws prohibit trailers from being in residential lots but the city has suspended that law in six-month increments.

Councilman Mike Mangum, who still lives in his trailer, said when the suspension runs out on Feb. 28, the council plans to approve an extension but this time for only for 60 days.

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“In this 60-day period, we’re going to ask residents that are in trailers to come in, give us some information that will help us aid the governor in his alternative housing program,” Mangum said.

Among other things, he said officials want to find out how long families plan to be in their trailer and if they are going to need additional assistance in the long term.

Mangum said the permits will help Pascagoula monitor recovery, so when the May 1 deadline rolls around, the council can better gauge how long to allow trailers in the city limits.

“We knew it was going to be a period of time, but we didn’t want to just put it out there and say OK for the next five years you can do this,” Mangum said.

For trailer-bound residents, their temporary homes are not going anywhere just yet.

“We’re not looking to put anybody out, if they need a trailer, we want them to have a trailer. We just want to know they are working to rebuild,” Mangum said.