Old FEMA trailers now house the homeless - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Old FEMA trailers now house the homeless

Albany-- Ten years after the flood, Albany is still using mobile homes given by FEMA to house displaced flood victims in 1994. Now, the rundown trailers on Newton Road are used as temporary housing for the homeless.

A decade later, they're the only place the city has to shelter some homeless families. "Certainly they weren't designed for the wear and tear they've had over the last ten years, "says Julie Dukes, with the Community and Economic Development Department, who says they won't have to be used much longer.

The city is renovating 10 apartments at the corner of Highland Avenue and Davis to use as temporary housing. "This will be the permanent location where we've got families that will come in a stay temporarily, usually no more than 90 days while they're looking for other housing," Dukes said.

The renovation of the temporary housing units comes as Dougherty County commissioners agree to swap the Newton Road land where the trailer are now for this land on 11th and Jefferson Street, owned by the City.

The county plans to build a tennis complex on the old baseball field. "We're told the quality center this will be will bring in tennis tournament that are now going to other cities," said County Commissioner Lamar Hudgins. "That will of course bring in sales tax revenue through hotels, restaurants, gas stations, on and on. It should be quite a asset, a nice facility."

In return, the city get the Newton Road land to use for storage of equipment and vehicles, not families. The new temporary housing units should be finished by June. The city is working with the families, now living in the mobile homes, to find other housing they can afford so that they will not have to be moved to the new complex.

City commissioners must agree to swap the land with the county before the tennis complex is built.

posted by dave.miller@walb.com