Residents living in privately owned trailers and recreational vehicles while their homes on Galveston Island, Texas, are repaired will have to find a new place to stay if the city council does not extend a deadline.
When the council agreed to let homeowners set up campers on their driveways and front lawns after Hurricane Ike, it first gave them until the start of storm season on June 1 to move to more permanent housing. But with so many people still living in the campers and trailers as that deadline approached, the council agreed to give them until Dec. 1 to get back in their houses, according to the Daily News, Galveston County.
Today (Nov. 12), the council will decide whether to enforce the deadline or grant another extension. The council also will consider the Dec. 1 deadline for removing temporary storage units on private property.
The city’s planning department, not necessarily in favor of continuing to allow the trailers, will not make a recommendation for a possible extension date, Planning Director Wendy O’Donohoe said. But the number of houses still being repaired are evidence of some continued need for the temporary housing, O’Donohoe said.
The city does not have a count of how many campers are scattered throughout neighborhoods because not all of them required permits.
Under city ordinance, homeowners who complete repairs to their properties must remove the recreational vehicles immediately.
The council’s decision will not have any effect on the 136 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailers still on private property on the island.
The March 12 deadline for those to be removed is not likely to be extended, Brad Craine, an agency spokesman, said.
Many people facing eviction from their federal trailers are waiting for federal disaster recovery money to repair their houses. City officials do not expect the first repairs under the housing assistance program to begin until February or March, leaving some people to scramble to find new temporary housing.
City officials do plan to give homeowners staying in federal trailers priority under the repair program to keep as many as possible from being displaced before their homes are habitable again.
County Judge Jim Yarbrough said last month the goal was to have everyone out of the temporary housing units before the March deadline.