Denham Springs officials to discuss 18-month extension for residents living in mobile homes
DENHAM SPRINGS – Following the August flood, there are a lot of residents still living in FEMA mobile homes, others in RV's and campers.
However, Denham Springs officials are going to consider allowing residents to live in them for a longer period of time.
One resident, Gerald Haik, has been living in a FEMA trailer in Denham Springs for about two months. He says that it is not as spacious as his three-bedroom home, but it is better than the three different emergency shelters he stayed in right after the flood.
"I was a refugee for several weeks, so to have our own place, it's a good thing," Haik said.
Haik is one of hundreds of residents in the area living in temporary housing. FEMA and standard traveling trailers can be seen on almost every block.
City officials now want to allow residents to live in the trailers for 18 months.
"I think it's all we can do. You got your back against the wall. You trying to get people accommodated with living quarters," Haik said.
Currently, the city ordinance allows that anyone living in temporary housing on their own property, must have a 90-day permit and reapply every 90 days in order to continue living there.
Even though the city temporarily eased the restriction right after the flood, the mayor wants to make it law to allow residents to stay in their trailers for a year and a half to give them more time to recover.
"We need a since of normalcy again so this is what we feel like what we can do to help the people go forward," Gerard Landry, Denham Springs Mayor, said.
Haik said that he does not know when he will be able to move back into his home, but he is hoping that it is before the 18-month extension expires.
The Denham Springs City Council expects to set a date for a public hearing on the proposed 18-month ordinance when it meets on Monday night.
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