As deadline looms, some FEMA trailer residents are more worried about housing than COVID-19

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -- Ja’Qyeriah Dejour lives in a FEMA trailer.

Some local FEMA trailer park residents say they're more concerned about their living situation than the coronavirus. (WJHG/WECP)

She says while the rest of the world worries about the coronavirus, she worries about where she and her family will live.

“Not really worried about a virus, you know I have my faith but living is one of my top concerns right now,” said Dejour.

The government has suspended foreclosures and evictions due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases, but many trailer residents say the virus hasn’t changed their April 11th deadline.

Dejour said, “With them doing the shutdown or the quarantine, that’s… uh, in this little bit of space?”

FEMA trailer residents say they were given documents letting them know after April 11 they could either rent their trailers for about $900 a month or buy them.

“I’ve heard from other people about the extension but not from a FEMA case worker and my case worker has changed five times,” said Dejour.

Earnestine Thurman said rather than paying $15,000, FEMA is selling her trailer to her for about $4,000 because of her income.

“Well I’m planning on buying my RV and move it and live on another trailer park,” said Thurman.

But during this time of uncertainty, Thurman is one of the few who has a future to plan on.

Thurman said, “Well it is stressful but I keep up with the news on what’s going on. I do what the president and the doctors and things say- wash my hands and take cautions and do what I'm supposed to do- stay home as much as possible.”

FEMA sent us a statement saying:
"We do not have enough information about the programs the president announced yesterday and their impact on our programs.

"FEMA is continuing to work one-on-one with Direct Housing residents to help them achieve a more permanent housing solution. We are continuing to maintain a consistent presence in support of their recovery."

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