Nightly News   |  December 11, 2012

FEMA trailers sit unused in New Jersey

About 50 FEMA trailers are waiting for needy families in an amusement park parking lot, but FEMA says they cannot place the mobile homes onto the property of the displaced Sandy victims because they live on a high-risk floodplain. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it is some measurement of the suffering still going on this long after hurricane sandy that here we are, six weeks later, thousands of people in this region are still in need of a place to live. to fix that, both fema and the state of new jersey , for one, have determined that trailers, portable housing, are the best way to get housing to storm victims, but now there seems to be a snag. nbc's katy tur is with us from the small and hard-hit town of union beach along new jersey's northern shoreline, not far from new york. kati katy , good evening.

>> reporter: after the storm, you heard president obama and governor christie say they wanted to cut through the red tape . six weeks later, it still seems like there is a whole lot of red tape . we are here in union beach , as you said, some of the houses are completely leveled. others are still standing but not necessarily livable. home owners say they want to be able to live on site while they are doing repairs in fema trailers , much like the trailers you saw during katrina. of course, fema spent nearly $3 billion on those trailers but ended up having a lot of problems with them, including very high levels of formaldehyde in some of them. the good news is that they don't have those trailers any longer, they have new mobile homes . and there are about 50 of them here in new jersey that are waiting to be deployed. the not-so-good news, they are not going to go directly to homeowners but mobile home sites because of a federal law that says they can't bring those trailers or those mobile homes to high-risk floodplains. local leaders say that's just more of that red tape we were talking about. meanwhile, there is still more than 900 -- 9,500 people that are going to need long-term temporary housing. they say they want a better option than staying at a hotel, staying at a friend or family's house or a rental property that could be pretty far away . brian?

>> katy tur, union beach , new jersey, on the jersey shore