Overspending on mobile homes in emergencies

Published Jan 27, 2018 at 4:00pm

The federal government is overspending on mobile homes and waiting too late to get the ball rolling in helping the victims.

A recent news article by The Associated Press reports the Federal Emergency Management Agency spends up to $150,000 apiece on trailers it leases to disaster victims and then auctions at cut-rate prices after 18 months of use or the first sign of minor damage.

FEMA has missed its opportunity to help more of the thousands of people left homeless by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and other natural disaster that have struck the nation this year.

The government is spending too much on trailers that typically costs $50,000 to $70,000 to build.

But most unsettling is the agency could refurbish the used trailers it auctions to create an inventory of relief homes to be used as soon as disasters occur.

The agency is selling these perfectly good used trailers for a fraction of what it is paying for them — up to $10,000 — at auction, according to the story.

The cost of refurbishing, estimated to be $5,000 per trailer, could save the government millions of dollars and, most importantly, would get the homes to people who desperately need them.