Alternatives to the FEMA Trailer Parks: Lessons from Social Science Research

Testimony

Alternatives to the FEMA Trailer Parks: Lessons from Social Science Research

Statement before the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management
April 11, 2007

Abstract

More than 18 months after the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, thousands of low-income people remain in FEMA trailer parks. Social science research teaches us that clustering large numbers of vulnerable families in isolated, underserved communities is a recipe for disaster. Public policies should focus on providing meaningful, permanent housing choices in decent neighborhoods for the low-income families currently living in trailers. In addition, as long as some families remain in trailer communities, they need on-site services to counteract the damaging effects of isolation and distress.

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