Thursday, April 06, 2006
Get your trailer away from my mansion
You know the phrase "not in my back yard?" Well, how about "not next door to my mansion!"

Homeowners in a private, gated subdivision in New Orleans are furious that FEMA is putting a trailer park for evacuees next door.

The homeowners argue that there's plenty of vacant land in the city. The city councilwoman who represents the subdivision proposed an alternate site. But FEMA ignored the proposal and started moving in trailers.

That has made Mayor Ray Nagin so angry that he says he won't allow any more group trailer sites in the city -- and he wants the FEMA workers kicked-out.

FEMA says the city has "jeopardized" the housing effort, and FEMA says it may demand that the city pay back the $1.5 million FEMA has spent on the site so far. The Mayor says no way.
Posted By Susan Roesgen, CNN Correspondent: 5:46 PM ET
  30 Comments
As a resident of the city that was fortunate to still have my home and income. It shameful that these elitist in N.O. still do not get it. People have lost everthing and they continue to fight any effort to help. N.O. schools are so bad because these very elitist refuse to support them and not wanting there kids to go to school with black kids. By the way I'm a fairly successful African American male and would welcome any human being in need to come to my rich neighborhood and my neighbors feel the same. God bless those who have suffered.
Posted By Anonymous Dee, Algiers, La. : 6:21 PM ET
The elite which includes the Mayor should thank God that they don't have to live in one of those trailers. Where has humanity, good sense, and treating your neighbor like you want to be treated gone? What goes around in this life usually comes around.
Posted By Anonymous Sue Germain, Miami, FL. : 6:23 PM ET
It is patently obvious that FEMA is run by a bunch of blithering idiots who can't think their way out of a paper bag. This is just yet one more example of ineptitude. Given FEMA's past track record, even after moving the trailers in, they will sit empty with no electric, water and other utilities thus rendering them useless.
Posted By Anonymous Sue P, South Bend IN : 6:44 PM ET
These 'Americans' are so proud of their fellow Americans! Hell use Eminant Domain and take the mansions and use them as boarding houses for the homeless. Just another tax writeoff for the wealthy. It makes me sick to see the cultural divide of wealth in the USA.
Posted By Anonymous Paul, New Olreans : 6:48 PM ET
Trailers are the first things damaged in any kind of storm. Would you want to be living next to a trailer park when a storm or tornado hits? A tornado is especially dangerous since soemtimes it takes a narrow path. It could pick a trailer up and throw it into the house. And seeing how reluctant insurance companies are to pay out for storm damage, I can imagine how worried the people from the gated community must be. Looks like poor Anderson can't even take a vacation without the world falling apart!
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Windber, PA : 6:48 PM ET
The people living in these mansions should be thankful they have a home to come to every night. Hundreds of thousands of people lost everything and have either to little or no insurance to rebuild. If FEMA wants to put a temporary trailer park next to their subdivision they should be out helping instead of complaining. Mayor Nagin needs to remember who he is fighting for. During the disaster he blamed the government for forgetting about the citizens of New Orleans that voted for them. Now it seems he is doing the same thing and giving into those that have money.

If we keep living in the type of society where we look out only for ourselves then we have only ourselves to blame for the actions of our politicians.

Wake up Americans! What happen to the great melting pot where we look out for our neighbors? With the government spending billions on Pork projects that make no sense the melting pot is about to smell!
Posted By Anonymous Kim Ann Arbor, MI : 6:49 PM ET
This man is an embarrassment to our city. The attitude of people who don't want the trailer parks should move. I will be concerned about the possible problems when trailer parks open near my house - but these people deserve to be able to come home just as i did. Wee need people here to help us rebuild and make this city better than ever.
Posted By Anonymous Marie, New Orleans, LA : 6:52 PM ET
Unbelievable!
Posted By Anonymous R Scoville, Entiat Wa : 6:54 PM ET
I live in huricane prone FL, so I feel some of the pain of the people in the NO, and the Gulf region. These people in these mansions should worry less about their property values and more about helping their neighbors. Everyone was quick to ask "where was the help" when Katrina flooded everything and people were stuck on roofs, interstates, and trapped in attics.

But now that some sense of normalcy has set back in, they are no longer concerned as long as they have a roof over their head and food in their stomach.

SHAME ON US!

And mayor Ray Nagin should be fired along with the entire FEMA organization. They could screw up a free lunch counter or a one car funeral.
Posted By Anonymous Becky, Tallahassee, FL : 7:02 PM ET
The key component in the valuation of real estate is location - which essentially translates to "what are you close to?".

I do not own a mansion and I am by no means rich, but if someone decides to put a trailer park next to my investment I will not be pleased.
Posted By Anonymous Augie, Boston MA : 7:17 PM ET
Why not give the 'snobs' a dose of their own medicine? I say we make it all a wildlife refuge, except the historic part of NO. Then tell the Mansion dewllers to move down the road a few hundred miles. FEMA should quit wasting money on trailers...it is like buying huge disposable houses, good for nothing but lining the bottom of landfills. You know they are just going to throw them away after they build houses for everyone to move into. Houses, I might add, that won't withstand Cat 5 winds from the next hurricane in areas below levees that aren't properly built.
Posted By Anonymous Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 7:18 PM ET
For once, FEMA got it right. Nagin, go away!
Posted By Anonymous Paige B., New Orleanian in Austin : 7:28 PM ET
After Hurricane Ivan in 2004 many a FEMA trailer moved in for those displaced by the storm. In addition to the new trailer parks there were trailers moved into our neighborhoods for those who could still use parts of their home. Fortunately the community came together to form Rebuild Northwest Florida. An organization that repaired those broken homes that had little to no insurance. The monies came to the organization from us the community. When Hurricane Katrina came a lot of those trailers were moved from here to the west of us. We were glad to see them go but also glad they were so close by when they were needed again. There is still one trailer in our neighborhood. In their front yard. There are still 2 homes in our neighborhood being repaired, empty since the storm. A church group from Virginia was in our neighborhood repairing a roof that I know would not have been replaced otherwise. Patience. Yes it is getting old 17 months out to still see the damage, to still wait on workers to come and never show or call. I'm afraid that New Orleans has a lot more opportunities to learn about patience, humanity and coming together as a community.
Posted By Anonymous Darline Pensacola, FL : 7:29 PM ET
You know - my heart says where is the caring, the empathy for the people who lost their homes. However, my brain says the people in these mansions chose to build their homes (ahem) above the sea level. Relatively out of harms way. I wonder if they don't deserve to have their standard of life preserved if there is in fact so many other sites that are viable for these mobile home parks.
I live in a mobile home, and I for one if ever I managed to live in my own "real" solid foundation of a home would care greatly about the property value it holds, and what this type of park (be it temporary or permanent) would do to my investment.

I do feel for the people who lost their homes, but I also can see where the people are coming from who are fighting to keep what is "theirs".
Posted By Anonymous Beth V., Rochester Hills, MI : 7:32 PM ET
Well, it seems New Orleans is back to "business as usual," nasty politics, et al. I'll remember this the next time I get a monetary appeal for Katrina victims. I hope the citizens of New Orleans remember this, too, when they elect a new mayor!
Posted By Anonymous Chris Willsie, Egg Harbor Twp. NJ : 7:34 PM ET
I'll bet those homeowners have contributed large dollars to the Mayor's campaign. If the city is ever to rebuild, all people are going to have to bend. Nothing is permanent. Even the Mayor and FEMA are going to have to work out their differences.
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago, Il : 7:39 PM ET
Instead of complaining about having the trailers being placed outside of their coveted neighborhood, these residents should be offering up the extra space in their homes until those in need can reestablish themselves. With hurricane season around the corner those houses are going to be better off than the trailers anyways.
Posted By Anonymous Robby, Omaha NE : 7:43 PM ET
It is a shame that those that have lost everything, are still be treated as if they have Leprosy. It's amazing that the same people that are doing the shunning, will still wave a flag and chant "USA" as they watch the Olympics. Too bad they dont practice what they preach. This is supposed to be a united country. The saying will always hold true: "United we stand, divided we fall". Well, these elitists are only dmaging the fabric of America.
Posted By Anonymous Neal C, Columbia, SC : 8:31 PM ET
Haven't we had enough of Mayor Nagin and his ridiculous behavior?
Posted By Anonymous Bill P. Virginia Beach, VA : 8:40 PM ET
Why is FEMA still so hung up on trailers? That is very temporary homes that have to be given back to FEMA 10 months after the storm took place...June 29. I think that FEMA should be renovating apartments and houses. There would probably be less money spent considering all the trailers not in use in a field in Arkansas.
Posted By Anonymous Frustrated, Metairie. LA : 8:41 PM ET
To be fair, this issue is not about being thankful for having a home. Yes, everyone is thankful to have a home - the evacuees that are assigned to the trailer homes and the residents of the gated community alike. This issue is about weather it is appropriate to assign the trailer park next to the gated community. Yes, it would be in good faith for the residents of the gated community to welcome the trail park residents next door to them with open arms. But at the same time, do the residents of the gated community not have the right to suggest an alternative location if they felt it necessary for their community. Are there not other locations the trailer park can be placed? Is it really life threatening, that the residents of the trailer home must, stay next to the gated community. If it is not an issue of the evacuees, must having to stay next to the gated community, then what is the problem of suggesting an alternate location? It would be a totally different issue if the location next to the gated community was the only place for the trailer park to be placed, but I sure it is not. If it is, then my opinion changes. With having said this, this doesn't mean one doesn't want to help the evauees. It simply suggest an alternative location for them.
Posted By Anonymous Asim Tomlin, Greensboro, NC : 9:12 PM ET
These Elite, including Mayor Ray Nagin, are so wrapped up in their own pathetic world that they have lost respect for everyone. I agree that Eminant Domain should be used to allow the homeless a place to live. Maybe then they will be able to realize how selfish and disrespcetful they are being.
Posted By Anonymous David, Anchorage, AK : 9:39 PM ET
If all you critics out there did your homework, you would realize that FEMA has 1.not worked with the city on placement of trailers
2.not provided utilities to these trailers for weeks after installment
3.not thought of provisions for the upcoming hurricane season in regard to the safety and location of the trailers.
If you knew the West Bank of New Orleans, you would know that the population has become extremely oversaturated since the storm. There are other viable sites for trailers that the city has offered (this includes the Mayor who is constantly in a lose-lose situation with any decision making) but unable to move forward with FEMA. Don't be so quick to judge the local level until you have a better understanding of the situation.
Posted By Anonymous sean moran, new orleans, la : 9:40 PM ET
This continues to be seen as a race issue when it's not- it's a class issue. I would not want a trailer park coming up near my home. It's the reason I bought a nice home and have insurance in case something should happen.
Posted By Anonymous Sharon, Montgomery, AL : 10:05 PM ET
Hi Susan,
I've wanted to believe that sooner, rather than later, New Orleans would be on the right track. Well, here we go again..Living in Calif, I am very familiar with the, not in my backyard mindset and the anger that sometimes goes with it. All I can say, is that I hope the word COMPROMISE will ring in everyones ears. There isn't anything, in my opinion, that will turn the public from feeling sympathy to anger quicker than New Orleans fighting each other..All the Gulf Coast deserves better. I know this sounds self righteous but the enemy was a hurricane and a flood..Not each other. The aftermath of Katrina was a nightmare and FEMA, wins no prize. But, the city can't rebuild without people and people need a place to call home..Trailers and all.
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 10:05 PM ET
I wonder how happy these elitists would be if they had no homes, and one of those trailers were sent for them. One day they will have their turn on the humble side of the coin.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah Shaw, Charlotte, NC : 10:50 PM ET
Having been involved with the "athlete" culture for 46 years at various levels (grade school to Olympians and Professionals), I would say that the cause begins with those who excel at an early age are many times given a pass on consequences. Schools, families, individuals vary. The win or else philosophy gives way to giving grades, cheating, and overlooking or excusing bad behavior.

The addition of steriods, alcohol, and other drugs greatly increase the chance of asocial behavior. Watching CNN Presents "In Search of the Perfect 10", the seeds for asocial behavior from eating disorders to violence to addiction were being sown.

The "rape" is NOT a sexual act, but an act of rage and violence.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista, ar : 4:02 AM ET
Thanks for digging into a real trailer issue. I had read this months ago but heard nothing about it on CNN. The rich in New Orleans need to shift their level of consciousness to compassion for the poor rather than dwelling on their own selfish needs.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage/Brooklyn MI : 8:02 AM ET
The mansions in question are actually built in one of the most devistated parts of the city, and most of the people who own them aren't living there, but have been victimized repeatedly by looters who have decided that it's a free open market on the undamaged second stories of these homes.

The trailers themselves are abutted to the walls of this gated community, and on the servitude surrounding the walls.

So when everyone says "Not in MY Backyard," please note that these trailers are quite literally in these people's backyard.

I welcome anyone who thinks New Orleans should have been able to clean up their act by now to come down and see for themselves exactly how wide-spread the devistation is. And I think everyone in New Orleans is open to hearing how we can solve these problems. Stop being the arm chair quarterback in Ann Arbor, MI and come help us!

And in return, you can have Nagin. Take him with you when you go home!
Posted By Anonymous Karen, New Orleans, LA : 3:24 PM ET
Karen,
I was there. I volunteered as I have family living in New Orleans. I understand the devistation. I tore my ACL helping clean up neighborhoods. I lived in a trailer, my own, outside of the city while working. My children collected books, toys, money and such for the families in N.O. and came with me to help distribute where they could. Next time you accuse someone of being an arm chair quarterback know who you are talking to. I spent time in the area of these mansions and still feel the same way. I know our government isn't perfect but we need to spend money appropriately and everyone needs to make a sacrifice for an undetermined amount of time so that we can rebuild "together" not divided. As someone earlier said . . . Remember divided we fall but United we stand!
Posted By Anonymous Kim, Ann Arbor, MI : 5:17 PM ET
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