Get your poisoned FEMA trailers on the cheap

Mike Riggs Contributor
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On the one hand, living in one will give you cancer and make you reek of desperation. On the other hand, FEMA had to get rid of these things somehow:

In a giant auction, the federal government has agreed to sell for pennies on the dollar most of the 120,000 formaldehyde-tainted trailers it bought nearly five years ago for Hurricane Katrina victims. But the sale of the units, perhaps the most visible symbol of the government’s bungled response to the hurricane, has triggered a new round of charges that it is endangering future buyers for years to come.

Besides formaldehyde, units may be plagued by mold, mildew and propane gas leaks, FEMA acknowledged.

“Proceed with caution, extreme caution, if you are tempted to respond to what appears to be an attractive offer for a travel trailer or manufactured home,” Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel wrote in a consumer alert. He and others cautioned that the FEMA units could be resold many times, including over the Internet, and that unscrupulous sellers could remove warning labels or withhold information about the dangers.

Earlier this year, for example, local building inspectors in Missouri discovered damaged FEMA units sold as scrap in earlier auctions in a Fenton, Mo., mobile home park, billed as housing even though their paperwork specified they were not to be occupied.

In other words, these babies won’t last long. Who wants to figure out the liability angle?