Gulfport votes to extend FEMA trailer deadline

Published 4:12 pm Thursday, August 2, 2007

The City Council here voted Tuesday to extend its self-imposed deadline on FEMA travel trailers to Aug. 31 and to allow MEMA cottages as an alternative.

The cottages are part of a two-year federally funded program, where the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency randomly selects names from a list of Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer residents and replaces the trailers with larger cottages.

Residents have to provide land for a cottage and are required to pay utilities and maintenance costs, which would be less expensive than rental rates in south Mississippi.

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The cottage program ends March 31, 2009, when the dwellings become state surplus and could be donated to local governments.

Of the 14 cities and counties in south Mississippi, Gulfport was the last jurisdiction to commit to some form of the cottage program, according to MEMA.

The Aug. 31 deadline applies to FEMA trailers on privately owned property. About 1,552 trailers are on private property in the city, according to FEMA.

After the deadline, the city will request FEMA start removing those units.