A month after tornadoes ripped through Alto, Texas, many were left homeless as their residences were damaged or destroyed.
Last week, in a special city council meeting, the Alto city council voted to allow manufactured homes to be used as replacement homes for residents living there.
The homes were being provided by a local church, and dozens have signed up hoping to obtain one of those homes.
But that doesn’t mean that the decision was popular with numbers of Alto’s citizens, as the video report posted here from CBS 19 reflects.
“In this situation particularly, we had a family that lost their home and we were able to purchase them a two bedroom, one bath HUD-manufactured mobile home,” said Ann Henley, employee of the River Church. “And we’re trying to replace it on their lot here in Alto.”
Henley said the church was been gifted with money to assist families impacted by last month’s natural disaster. They have purchased 6 manufactured homes, and at that time had already placed three of the homes on designated lots.
“We have three more that they’re trying to get their lots cleaned up,” Henley said. “We’ve replaced about seven or eight roofs so far and we have about five or six lined up to replace the roofs in the next week or two.”
It’s one of those notes of positive irony. Conventional housing was sadly reduced to rubble in many cases, and manufactured homes were the quick and positive solution.
But the resistance in that town council meeting was present, and slinging the ‘t-word’ was part of the process.
“You can pull onto Putman Avenue and the trailer is the biggest thing on the road there now,” one resident in the news video said. “I don’t think that’s what we want, certainly I don’t in that neighborhood and I don’t think that’s what we want for the city.”
“I think our biggest concern are basically the people that have been misplaced and that are basically homeless and getting them into a house as quick as possible,” Henley said. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in Alto who are very low-income and even if they did own their home, they weren’t able to afford home owner’s insurance. They’re just in a bad situation and we’re just trying to help them as best as we can.”
This scenario of manufactured housing being the obvious solution, but encountering local resistance, is playing out in various ways from coast-to-coast. It will be part of an upcoming special report on MHProNews. Watch for it.
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