The Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) is auctioning off some of the 145,000
manufactured homes it bought in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina
and Rita to provide relief to those who were homeless after the
storms. Although mobile home dealers are saying otherwise, FEMA
insists its auction will not flood the market or create a drop in
prices in markets like
El Cajon Wholesale Manufactured Homes.
Calls to several
wholesale manufactured home dealers and builders were unreturned but according
to multiple published reports, many say consumers would rather buy a
used FEMA mobile home than pay $25,000 to $40,000 for a new one.
FEMA told BUILDER Online
that the agency, along with their partner, the U.S. General Services
Administration (GSA), was being very cautious regarding the sales
and have no intention of harming any businesses. The agency is
trying to lower storage costs by reducing its number of trailers.
In addition to the auction,
the agency also plans to donate some of the mobile homes.
"We do appreciate the fact
that (mobile home) manufacturers sold us the units during the
catastrophic response to (Hurricanes) Rita and Katrina," explained
FEMA spokesperson Debbie Wing. "So they have had financial benefits
because they sold us these
wholesale manufactured homes to begin with."
Robert Bosse of the
Manufactured Home Owners Association of America told BUILDER Online
that although he had limited knowledge of the situation, he says
mobile home dealers are upset that they won't get the manufactured
homes back, which would basically allow them to resell each item.
When FEMA bought the 145,000 mobile homes in August and September of
2005, it spent $2.7 billion, roughly $19,000 per unit.
According to Wing, the
mobile homes will be auctioned online through GSA's auction Web site