A Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer has been sitting in Dorothy Anderson’s front yard on Longwood Lane in Dickinson for weeks. But she hasn’t seen the inside of it.
Anderson, who shares her home with her son, Anthony Anderson, received the trailer about six weeks ago, she said. Every few days, a contractor arrives to work on the trailer, often at odd hours, but no one has told her when she might be able to get in it, she said.
In the meantime, she’s been staying in her home, which was flooded during Hurricane Harvey, while it’s being repaired, she said. She worries the house might be repaired before she ever sets foot in the trailer, she said.
“The house will be done and they’ll still be working on the yard and trailer,” Dorothy Anderson said. “It just aggravates me.”
As of Tuesday, FEMA had approved 196 survivor families for trailers or travel trailers, agency spokesman Robert Howard said. On Tuesday, just 67 of those families have been able to get keys to get inside the trailers, which may be sitting on their properties waiting for water or electricity hookups, he said.
After doing more than 2,500 pre-placement interviews with Hurricane Harvey survivors in Galveston County, the agency identified about 415 households in need of direct housing, Howard said. The other families are either back in their homes, have hotel or motel vouchers or have found an apartment with rental assistance, he said.
Families received either a manufactured home or a travel trailer based on the size of the household and size of the lot, he said.
But there have been delays. Before people can move in, the agency often has to get water, electricity and sewer connected to the trailer, which can take time, depending on how fast utility services work, the availability of contractors and how long permitting takes, Howard said.
“It depends on the utilities and how long that takes,” Howard said.
The Daily News called the Dickinson Water Department’s superintendent Wednesday, but did not reach the department head before press time.
The emergency management agency delivered a travel trailer to Erika Ortega’s home in Dickinson a few weeks ago, but she didn’t receive a key to temporarily move in until the week before Christmas because the trailer needed to be hooked up to services, she said.
Her house has been under construction for months after Hurricane Harvey flooded it in late August. Ortega, her husband and two daughters had been staying with her mother in Dickinson, she said.
“It takes time, but they have a lot of people to help and are working on everyone so we understand,” Ortega said. “It’s just nice to be back by the house. There’s nothing like home.”
Ortega anticipated the house would be complete in the coming weeks and the agency would pick up the travel trailer for someone else to use, she said.