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Lake Charles Mayor calling on FEMA for more assistance amid temporary housing shortage

fema ground sites.jpg
Posted at 8:09 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 23:44:53-05

LAKE CHARLES, La.  — Housing issues in Lake Charles continue six months after Hurricane Laura struck. Among those dealing with the impacts are those who were hit hardest by the storm.

The mayor of Lake Charles, Nic Hunter, wrote an open letter to FEMA for more assistance, specifically for more temporary housing.

Hunter says they requested temporary housing for 3,000 people. Six months in, about 1,500 families are still waiting for that assistance.

“We hope that some administrator or official high up enough in FEMA will realize this is unacceptable,” said Hunter.

Following the destruction from Hurricane Laura, Hunter says FEMA relied on temporary housing units, mobile homes and RVs that would be placed on survivors' property.

A request for group sites was made, but Hunter says FEMA didn’t see the need.

“Here we are six months later and the tune has completely changed," he said. "FEMA realizes that we do, in fact, need one of those group sites because there are not enough commercial pads here in Calcasieu Parish."

In his letter to FEMA, Hunter details the lack of urgency for the city, adding that the estimated time of housing completion is too little too late.

“At this juncture we’re being told the new ETA for full implementation is September or October of this year," he said. "That is well over a year since this storm. That’s unacceptable."

Although the city has made progress since being hit by the storm, Hunter says more needs to be done.

“It is stressful, it is frustrating, but for those individuals who are out there living this reality and multiply that times a hundred,” said Hunter. "We need to get them home and FEMA has got to act quicker."

Hunter sent the letter to FEMA on Thursday and hopes to have a response by next week.

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