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Lakota Country Times

FEMA homes not part of recalled ‘trailers’
WASHINGTON - Though the mobile homes distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency face more stringent regulations than the travel trailers, Sen. Johnson recently wrote to FEMA Director R. David Paulison asking that he address any concerns about the mobile homes allocated to Indian Country in light of the recent news on the travel trailers.

Johnson had been a strong advocate of moving the unused mobile homes that the federal government purchased in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to serve the homeless and under-housed in Indian Country. Johnson's efforts were successful with 1,000 mobile homes offered to tribes around the country. The Oglala Sioux Tribe and the housing authority has been developing financial plans to bring the FEMA mobile homes to the reservation.

This week, the Centers for Disease Control released information on unsafe formaldehyde levels in the travel trailers, suggesting people move out of the travel trailers as soon as possible. The mobile homes did not face the same risk of formaldehyde contamination, due to HUD regulations governing their construction.

"I have been assured time and time again that the mobile homes have stronger regulations than the travel trailers and that the mobile homes are safe. Given how FEMA has handled the travel trailer situation, I know this will raise additional questions on the mobile homes. I want FEMA to address these concerns as soon as possible, and I want to be made aware of any concerns expressed by Indian country," Johnson said.

Julianne Fisher of Sen. Johnson's office said the mobile homes and trailers are different, and have different regulations. What has been received in Indian County is the 'mobile homes.' The 'mobile homes' have stricter limits and are safe.' She said they feared with this news, people would have concerns and so the inquiry letter was sent to the FEMA director, insure immediate reply, she said.
The travel trailers with formaldehyde problems can be hitched to the back of a vehicle. The mobile homes that were made available to Indian Country were mostly new, unused, three bedroom homes with an estimated 30 year life span.

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