Nearly ten months later, hundreds of locals still live in FEMA trailers

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Hundreds of displaced locals living in FEMA trailers since Hurricane Michael have found a permanent place to stay.

Nearly 300 living in FEMA Trailers have found permanent housing solutions, but many more are looking for a place to call home. (WJHG/WECP)

"We started at 971 and more than 200 households have moved out," said FEMA Spokesperson Jim Homstad.

However, many more are still trying to recover.

Homstad said there are more than 700 households still living in FEMA trailers in the Panhandle, and more than 500 of those are in Bay County, including trailers on private property.

"They [State of Florida] want as many people as they can to stay here, stay employed, keep the kids in school here, and that's all apart of the recovery process," said Homstad.

Homstad said there are seven FEMA trailer sites in our area: six in Bay County and one in Gulf County.

Residents like Matthew Rawls and his family been living in trailers for months.

"It's definitely problems," said Rawls. "We have a lot of people out here with the same situation."

Rawls said trailer residents are having trouble finding a more permanent place to stay due to high rent prices, lack of affordable housing, and difficulty finding contractors to repair their homes.

"We still look around though. We are steady working and steady grinding. We know something has got to open up, we just have to wait," said Rawls.

Homstad said FEMA officials do monthly check-ins to make sure storm victims are actively looking for a place to live. He said the trailers are temporary and they're hoping all the residents can find permanent solutions before the program ends in April.

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