New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin suspended the future installation of group trailer sites for hurricane-displaced residents and is calling for the replacement of Federal Emergency Management Agency housing workers assigned to the city, the Associated Press reported.
Nagin’s move follows a weekend confrontation between residents in the Algiers section and federal officials over the location of a trailer park.
The mayor also said April 3 he might use the impasse to push FEMA to abandon its group-trailer in favor of modular housing or investments in existing apartment buildings in need of repair.
FEMA officials said Nagin approved the site in December a month before he changed his approval process to include City Council input, and that the city waived the construction permit for the project.
Nagin has been highly critical of FEMA for millions of dollars in promised aid that has yet to be delivered for repairs to public property.
The mayor’s action follows a demonstration by about 100 Algiers residents who protested gathered a nearly finished group trailer site. The site sits behind the gated subdivision, separated only by a concrete wall that is shorter than the trailers. In some cases, the trailers are only a few yards from the homes.
The neighborhood association already has filed a lawsuit against FEMA, seeking a permanent injunction against the project.
On Saturday, residents formed a human and vehicular chain to block federal workers from resuming construction. Later in the day, residents said federal security officials accompanying FEMA workers threatened to arrest them.
The flare-up ended only after New Orleans police arrived and threatened to arrest the federal workers, residents said.
Information from: The Times-Picayune, www.timespicayune.com.
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