||(Washington, D.C.) Senator Mark Pryor and Congressman Mike Ross (AR-04) today announced the nearly 10,000 new and vacant manufactured homes in Hope, AR can be sold or donated to localities and non-profit organizations. The provision is part of the Homeland Security Appropriations conference report that is expected to pass both the Senate and House this week, and go to the President’s desk for his signature.
Pryor and Ross have been working together to cut red tape and put the thousands of unused manufactured homes to good use. While the lawmakers would prefer the manufactured homes to go to the Gulf Coast to be used by Hurricane Katrina evacuees as intended, they believe selling or donating the leftover homes to localities and non-profit organizations is a better option than allowing them to sit unused. Currently, non-profits may only receive surplus homes from FEMA to house disaster victims. Under the new law, the homes could be used by a non-profit or municipality for any purpose that serves the public good.
“I want to give FEMA every opportunity to become an effective agency, and I hope the agency will use this new opportunity to place thousands of homes where they are needed. Allowing the homes to sit and deteriorate at the airport is an abuse of taxpayer funding and should not be an option,” Pryor said.
“I am proud that the 9,778 fully furnished manufactured homes sitting in Hope, AR, may finally be put to good use,” Ross said. “These are the kind of common sense solutions the American taxpayers expect and deserve. I am proud to have worked with Senator Pryor in holding the government accountable for wasting taxpayer dollars instead of housing families in need.”
Pryor said the amendment was originally passed in July as part of the Hurricane Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006, legislation intended to make FEMA function more effectively. Part of that legislation, including the FEMA provision, was incorporated in the Homeland Security spending bill. Ross introduced similar legislation earlier this month.