Lake Charles Mayor Still Pushing FEMA for Housing Assistance
Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter has certainly had a very busy year and a half. Not only has his city been directly impacted by two major hurricanes, he's had to run for re-election, and there has also been a pandemic to deal with too.
Yesterday, Mayor Hunter received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Early this month he was re-elected to continue serving as Mayor, and hurricane recovery, well that is nowhere close to being finished. In fact, the Mayor has not let the pandemic or re-election deter him from keeping the pressure on Washington D.C. to continue to support his constituents that were affected by the storm.
Earlier this month the Mayor penned a strongly worded letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to decry the lack of housing in the Lake Area. FEMA officials have responded and the availability of federally funded temporary housing is on the way. But there are still people without homes and no prospect of finding a place to live.
That has prompted another letter to FEMA from Mayor Hunter. In this letter, he does praise the agency's efforts to find additional locations in Calcasieu Parish for more FEMA housing. He also stated that based on current progress the temporary FEMA Trailers could be in place sooner than expected. FEMA officials had set a timetable of September 2021 for the temporary housing but it now looks as if a June or July timeline will be more likely.
Here's what Mayor Hunter had to say in his letter. It was published in its entirety by KPLC Television, here is a transcript from the KPLC story. The letter was written to acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton.
The most recent conversations between FEMA representatives and local officials about FEMA’s temporary housing plan in response to Hurricanes Laura and Delta have been productive.
I compliment FEMA on aggressively pursuing additional existing pad sites in Calcasieu Parish and implementing a “Direct Lease Program” for landlords to utilize.
These efforts and the overall work of your dedicated staff have expedited the proposed timeline for full temporary housing implementation. Instead of a September 2021 timeline, we now believe it is possible for a June or July 2021 timeline for all approved FEMA applicants to be housed.
The City will be hosting an upcoming meeting for FEMA to better publicize the Direct Lease Program to local property owners.
While the overall timeline still leaves much to be improved upon, this recent news is encouraging. I thank FEMA for these efforts and reiterate the fact that FEMA has some absolutely stellar employees working for them here in Southwest Louisiana.
Nicholas E. Hunter
We applaud Mayor Hunter and the efforts of his staff and all of our local leaders who are not letting Washington DC and the rest of the country forget about the devastation that South Louisiana suffered in Hurricanes Laura and Delta.
And while the work continues around the area to help us all return to "normal" a little time away might be just what you need. Granted, a lot of us feel like we've "camped" enough over the past six months or so, maybe some "glamping" would be more appropriate.
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