Greenwell Springs family fighting to get wrong mobile home replaced

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

GREENWELL SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Many people are desperate to get their hands on a FEMA manufactured housing unit (MHU), but one Greenwell Springs man wants the unit that was delivered to his property gone.

The unit he received is the wrong size and he has spent the past month fighting to get it replaced.

Just steps away from his home, Michael Gil said he has been dealing with an eye sore.

His family was one of the lucky ones that had an MHU delivered to their home, but rather than the three-bedroom MHU they requested, they got a two-bedroom unit which has been sitting unused.

"Once they delivered it and d ropped it off, they said they needed a work order in order to pick it back up and d rop the correct one off," Gil said. "That's been about a month ago."

Gil said his property was inspected and approved by FEMA on September 26. The wrong unit was d ropped off on October 14. As of November 16, he is still waiting for the unit to be replaced.

"It's sitting here and we've been calling every day and we just keep getting the runaround," he said.

Even though it is the wrong unit, Gil said crews are constantly out checking on it. He said he had to put up signs to make sure no one tries to install skirting or connect power to the wrong trailer.

He said the most frustrating part of the process is knowing every day the trailer sits in his yard, some other family is suffering just as much as his family.

"They're telling us that they're out of two bedrooms or they're short on two bedrooms, and this one's just sitting here," Gil said. "It breaks my heart that they're not getting a trailer and we're not getting a trailer. It's not doing anybody any good."

Gil said he has made countless phone calls to FEMA trying to get the issues straightened out, but he cannot help feeling like something in FEMA's
process went wrong.

"Somewhere along the way they are d ropping the ball. The work order has been created, but somebody's not picking up that work order and realizing 'Hey, this is not normal. This needs special handling. That it needs to be picked up and then another one brought in,'" Gil added.

FEMA said they are prevented from talking specifically about this case, but they released the following statement regarding the issue:

We are aware of the unit on the property. We continue to collaborate with our housing contractors for haul and installs as we work to house Louisiana survivors. A work order is in process for the removal of this unit. The timeline will depend on the contractor's schedules.

A FEMA spokesperson later confirmed that a name mix-up led to the wrong MHU being delivered and they are working to address the problem as soon as possible.

Anyone who still needs help with a FEMA related matter is encouraged to visit one of the open disaster recovery centers or call FEMA directly at 1-800-621-3362.

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