Sunday, January 25, 2009


The following announcement was initiated by KATRINA RELIEF VOLUNTEERS whose home base is located in Waveland, MS/Hancock Co.

Come help advocate for equal rights in housing options

Housing advocates and activists are coming in from all over the country this weekend - many arriving today (Sunday). These are people who have dedicated their lives to making sure that housing is available to all. People next door and ministers - all with the same heart for the cause.

Where: Bourgeois Park (the ball field at Waveland) - Corner of Waveland Ave. and Central Ave.
When: Monday Jan. 26th. :: Time: 11a.m.

Relief Volunteer blog - continuous updates and lots of photos.

More Subversive Delay Tactics by Waveland City?

According to the Sun Herald, Waveland Mayor Longo said, "residents who filed the lawsuit made a mistake. The Board of Aldermen had decided to allow cottages to stay when the board meets next." He continued by saying, "The crazy thing is, it was about to happen . . . now nothing can be done until it's heard by a judge."

Longo evidently is in some form of denial when he states that, "It's unbelievable that they would file suit. If you truly needed it, you were probably going to get your cottage." I think the key word here is "probably" as that is "flexible wording" that really doesn't mean anything. He isn't operating on "specifics" that will help those who need help the most. Else, why is it that the first MEMA cottage deadline is prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Aldermen. AND, the residents filing suit against the city were DENIED permission to keep their cottages as permanent housing!

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Saturday, January 24, 2009



Finally someone with enough guts to call it what it is, has been, and continues to be!! Obama vows to mend Bush’s broken Katrina promises.

In addition, the article states that Senator David Vitter re-stated his position on the response to the storm by saying that “On the Friday morning after Katrina, I said publicly that I would grade the initial government response at all levels – local, state, and federal – an F. I stand by that assessment," . . . "I look forward to working with President Obama to continue the reforms I have been working on at the federal level from the reform of FEMA and immediate response protocols to ongoing recovery work, certainly including vital corps projects to provide a much higher level of protection."

The White House website vowed “President Barack Obama will partner with the people of the Gulf Coast to rebuild now, stronger than ever.”

I was always taught to say what you mean and mean what you say. We all can only hope this will be true of our new president.

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To read the lawsuit in full just click LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CITY OF WAVELAND

Here is part of the lawsuit:


14. Plaintiffs are a group of Mississippi residents still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina (the “Storm”). After losing their homes in the Storm, they were forced to seek temporary housing assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) and received temporary “FEMA trailers” in 2005 and 2006. In 2007 and 2008, after living in FEMA trailers for months or years, Plaintiffs each received a temporary modular home, also known as a
“Mississippi Cottage,” from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (“MEMA”).
. . . Because MEMA operates pursuant to a Congressional grant, it must either sell Plaintiffs their homes or begin removing the homes from Plaintiffs’ land as early as February 1, 2009, the day after Plaintiffs’ leases expire.

20. The Cottages were designed by teams of professional architects in traditional Gulf Coast style using modern construction methods and materials. They meet permanent housing standards as set forth in the International Residential Code (“IRC”) of 2003, and they also comply with major domestic and international housing codes. . .

21. When attached to a traditional foundation, Cottages are structurally identical to a site-built home and can withstand 150 mile per hour winds.

22. To satisfy local zoning laws in Waveland, Cottage owners needed to apply for building permits so MEMA could install their homes on permanent foundations.

23. When the Plaintiffs each contacted the City of Waveland Planning & Zoning Department to acquire a building permit, they were given the same response: denied.

A note to my special Katrina friend on Oak Blvd. - "you go girl!"
I'm rooting for you all!

Monday, January 19, 2009


DE NOVO MISSISSIPPI HOMES is a Bay St. Louis, independent home builder for modular homes which is operated by long-time locals, Susan and Amby Dalgre and Brenda and Mickey Renfro.

From site preparation to handing you the key, they can help you with your rebuilding project. To read about their building ethic and to see some of what they do and how they do it, just click the link above. They have a contact page on which you can email your questions.

Located at:
412 Hwy. 90, Suite 3
Bay St. Louis, MS
phone: 228-467-9623

Saturday, January 17, 2009



"The Bay" has been fighting FEMA's extreme flood maps which they created without the use of proper science or scientific tools. Those maps, had they become law, would have severely limited recovery from Katrina because they would impose ridiculously high elevation requirements.

In its appeal, the city of Bay St. Louis pointed out various issues that were problematic:
* the accuracy of wave models used by FEMA scientists
* mathematical errors
* mapping problems
* FEMA did not consider bottom composition elements in the Bay of St. Louis in calculating potential wave heights

The city's victory over FEMA means that the A Zones (flood hazard) were expanded and the V Zones (most volatile flood hazard) were shrunk.

FEMA’s proposed maps would have required buildings to be as high as 22 feet above mean high tide in some parts of the A Zones. That height will now be 18 or 19 feet. Additionally, almost 40% of the city was located in V Zones with another 40% in A Zones.

With the newest flood maps, the V Zones should account for only 10% of the city and A Zones expand to 60%. This larger A Zone area change will save residents and businesses thousands of dollars in flood insurance money. Some good news that everyone needed!

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According to The Sea Coast Echo, Waveland's city leaders said that "the MEMA definition may affect the city's position."

MAY affect??? What part of "a MEMA COTTAGE IS a MODULAR HOME" do they not understand?

As if to warn people and instill yet more apprehension into them, Waveland Building Official Brent Anderson said that people who have a cottage or want a cottage will have to go through the same building and zoning processes like anyone else.

According to Waveland's Mayor, Tommy Longo, "This will allow the people who truly need these cottages to possibly keep them."

POSSIBLY??? Again, playing a little more hard ball and injecting apprehension into the people. Longo continued on, "They will have to follow the same rules as anyone else, but by acting now while FEMA and MEMA is involved they will also have to meet all of their requirements as well."

What are they going to come up with next?

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Beleaguered Issue Seeing Positive Resolution?

HANCOCK CO. attorney Ronnie Artigues received a letter from Balch & Bingham LLP, which represents the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, which stated that the MEMA cottage is modular housing. A copy of that Jan. 7th. letter was sent to Hancock Co. officials. By Jan. 9th., Bay St. Louis officials were seemingly of the mind that they will have to comply with the state's definition.

Now after all of this time, it just seems to me that any dunce could've looked up this concern on the internet! All anyone had to do was go straight to the horse's mouth: Mississippi Cottage. Google it for Pete's sake! Or. . . maybe they did. . . and they just wanted to play hard ball in order wear people out so that they would perhaps give up and leave the area altogether??? Something surely was up with this long drawn out deal which essentially smelled of exclusionism and discrimination.

According to a recent article in The Sea Coast Echo as far back as May 2008, the Mississippi Fire Marshal's Office's definition of a "modular home" is "a structure which is transportable in one or two sections; designed to be used as a dwelling when connected to the required utilities; constructed in accordance with a nationally recognized building code; and designed to be permanently installed on it's final destination on an approved foundation."

We can only hope that the state's official declaration on the matter WILL prevent Bay St. Louis City Council from condemning and confining the cottages to "trailer" parks. Pass Christian and Biloxi have been allowing the cottages within residentially-zoned areas as long as elevation, foundation, and setback requirements are met.

Cottage features include:
* A front porch
* Comfortable living areas
* Durability
* Wind resistant up to 150 mph
* Hurricane strapping
* Plenty of insulation for energy efficiency
* Design for maximum storage space
* Design style which fits Gulf Coast architecture
* 1, 2, or 3 bedroom models

There will also be an Eco Cottage which is currently in the planning stage.

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