updated 9/20/2005 8:21:32 PM ET 2005-09-21T00:21:32

The nation’s largest mobile home manufacturer, Clayton Homes Inc., received a government order Tuesday to build 2,000 single-wide models to accommodate Katrina evacuees, a spokesman said.

Chris Nicely, a spokesman for Maryville-based Clayton, said the Federal Emergency Management Agency order requested delivery by Dec. 1.

“That won’t be a problem,” Nicely said.

FEMA is ordering mobile homes and travel trailers from manufacturers across the country, but FEMA officials did not immediately give details Tuesday on the total ordered or who would produce them.

Some manufacturers have complained that FEMA’s pace of responding to their bids submitted by Sept. 9 could mean production delays. FEMA officials said they did not want to make spending decisions to hastily.

FEMA spokeswoman Nicol Andrews said Monday that at least 30,000 travel trailers would be ready in Louisiana by Oct. 18, with another 170,000 to be installed soon after.

State officials were working to identify plots of land where the trailers could be placed and outfitted with plumbing and electricity, Andrews said.

Andrews said FEMA has awarded another contract to Fluor Corp. of Aliso Viejo, Calif., to build temporary housing units. She said other contracts were pending.

Clayton — which had already shipped 1,800 homes from retail lots as far away as Delaware and Wyoming to a FEMA staging area at Texarkana, Texas — submitted a bid to build 3,000 units, but FEMA ordered only 2,000.

“I think they are trying to spread it around, to keep everybody happy and so they don’t get delayed by a bottleneck in one operation,” Nicely said.

Nicely declined to provide his company’s price information but said the single-wide units typically range in cost from $25,000 to $35,000. He said the homes would likely be built at Clayton plants “closest to the Gulf,” including some in Texas, Georgia and Tennessee.

FEMA estimates Katrina displaced 200,000 households, far more than the 15,000 households that needed shelter last year after the Florida hurricanes last year.

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