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Current Baker ordinance would not allow FEMA units on property

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BAKER – Currently, it is not legal for Baker residents to have mobile housing units on their property, but the mayor is trying to get residents displaced by last month's flood temporary housing.

According to Mayor of Baker Darnell Waites, getting residents back in their homes has been tricky since FEMA mobile homes have not arrived and even if they did, setting them up would be against the law.

“To make sure to clarify, what we're doing we have to modify the ordinance,” Waites said.

A city ordinance does not allow for residents to have trailers on their property.

"It's just to keep the community looking the way we want it to look as part of our economic development and our community development,” Waites said.

However, thousands are desperate to come home and start rebuilding. Soon FEMA units will begin to arrive in the area as city officials are considering setting up a small community of them.

“We want our people to be the priority and after that anyone that lives in the northern part of the parish,” Waites said.

There is not a time frame yet when the mobile units will start to pop up.

“They need somewhere to stay right now. They need a transitional home right now and that’s what this is a transitional homes for them,” Waites said.

The mayor said that if a FEMA unit was finally ready, he would not mind giving his stamp of approval.

“We're not going to stop it, I'm going to allow it to come in,” Waites said.

The Baker City Council will discuss the ordinance on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

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