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Opinion
Editorial: Send FEMA trailers to Indian Country


"They're facetiously called "Katrina cottages," and more than 10,000 of them sit unused at an airport near Hope, Ark. What to do with thousands of mobile homes bought by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Hurricane Katrina left hundreds of thousands of New Orleans residents homeless was the subject of a congressional hearing last week.

South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson has an idea for putting the unused mobile homes to good use: Move them to American Indian reservations where 90,000 Indian families are homeless or have inadequate housing. "Rather than allow these homes to go to waste, they can be used immediately in Native communities, not only for housing, but also as additional classrooms for reservation schools, whose facilities are in desperate need of repair," Johnson wrote to the federal agency.

Johnson's proposal has merit. Why let the trailers sit, unused, in an empty lot in Arkansas when there is a housing crisis on America's Indian reservations? Some emergencies are not unexpected but are years in the making. Easing housing and school construction needs in Indian Country is an area where FEMA's trailers can be put to good use."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Use FEMA trailers (The Rapid City Journal 4/26)

Related Stories:
Sen. Johnson wanta FEMA homes sent to tribes (4/25)