MONROE (KNOE 8 News)--It's been more than four years since Hurricane Katrina devastated not just New Orleans, but much of the gulf coast. Now, the government is moving on and selling many of the FEMA trailers once used by evacuees. Some of those very disaster trailers are now being sold in our area at much lower prices than the government originally paid for them.
The government is auctioning off nearly all of its FEMA trailers, and West Monroe businessman Charles Brown bought 480 of them. He's now selling them in Bastrop and Monroe.
"They're all used, some more than others, some you can't tell," said Brown.
There are two models. One is a "park" model, that was specially made for the government. But manufacturers couldn't make those fast enough to keep up with demand, so the feds bought "dealer" models from private businesses.
There are two types of park models. One uses propane for heat, hot water, and the stove, and electricity for the air conditioning and microwave. The other is electric. Dealer models use only electricity. The price of the trailers is all dependent on their condition and model type.
The trailers caused controversy when people first moved into them because they had formaldehyde inside that made them sick. The trailers are 3 years old, and the formaldehyde has since dissipated. We're told the trailers have been inspected and are safe to live in.
The government paid about $17,000 each for the park models. Charles Brown is selling them, on average, for about $4,000. The dealer models are around $25,000 new, are Brown is selling those anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000.
About 100 trailers have already been sold here, and sales will continue for the next 3 months. The trailers are for sale in West Monroe at the corner of Cypress Street and Well Road, and between Bastrop and Sterlington on 165 North at the Old Courtesy Chevrolet lot.