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Katrina Victims Have To Move Free Houses

From a tear soaked Associated Press:

Pete Yarborough speaks in the front yard of his 400 square-foot cottage in Lakeshore, Miss.

Oil spill adds to housing woes for Katrina victims

By Shelia Byrd, Associated Press Writer
August 21, 2010

LAKESHORE, Miss. – Pete Yarborough, a trucker who hauled seafood until the BP oil spill hit, and about 800 other households are under pressure to buy or get out of the state-owned cottages they’ve been living in since Hurricane Katrina left them homeless.

Yarborough’s 400-square-foot cottage sits on cinder blocks 13 feet above sea level, 7 feet lower than post-Katrina standards require. He can buy the cottage for $351, but it would cost about $23,000 to raise it in the flood-prone area, and Yarborough can’t afford that.

Would it be cynical to question this $23,000 estimate?

If he doesn’t buy the cottage, the state will begin the process of evicting him. State officials had hoped to end the cottage program by Aug. 29, the fifth anniversary of the storm, but they concede the process of evicting the residents will take a couple of more months.

The oil spill’s economic fallout has added a cruel hurdle to the effort to relocate the cottage dwellers, who live in the structures for free, paying utilities and rent only for the lots they live on — or paying no rent if they own the lots.

"I’m jobless and I might be homeless too," said Yarborough, 57, who hasn’t had work since the spill sidelined some major fishing grounds in the Gulf of Mexico.

As far as we know, most the Gulf has been re-opened for fishing for quite some time.

Yarborough has refused to buy the petite dwellings for as little as $351 and relocate them to "cottage parks," where residents would lease a piece of land much like a mobile home park

No, we can’t have that.

In addition to the cottages, about 200 more Katrina victims still live in federally supplied trailers, down from a post-storm peak of 41,000.

Mind you, Katrina was five years ago.

Yarborough said he received and spent $3,000 from BP after he lost his job as a trucker. He’s waiting to see if he’ll get monthly checks.

"My automobile is past due, my lights, my phone bills. Everything is past due," he said.

Stop it. We are just about to bust out crying.

Lea Crager-Stokes, MEMA deputy director, said the agency is willing to move the structures to mobile home parks or areas outside the floodplain. But that forces some residents to leave their own property and start paying rent

And we can’t make these poor victims have to pay any rent.

Dozens of cottage dwellers meet every Thursday in Bay St. Louis with the Mississippi Center for Justice, an advocacy group that’s trying to negotiate with MEMA for more time to find permanent housing.

But Stokes said they can’t keep funding the program forever

Why not? These are ‘Katrina victims,’ after all.

They are to be given everything they want for free — and for the rest of their lives.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, August 21st, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Katrina Victims Have To Move Free Houses”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    If he doesn’t buy the cottage, the state will begin the process of evicting him.

    “The government that gives you everything can most certainly take it away.”

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    What’s this?
    The Katrina teet is starting to dry up for some?
    Never let a crisis………..
    Still wringing this one out.

  3. oldpuppydixie says:

    Darned greedy taxpayers!! Imagine the GALL of those people who actually WORK for a living!! How DARE they wish to provide for their OWN families first!!

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