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Family gets back FEMA trailer after city rules kept them from using one

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ABC13's Tom Abrahams visits with a family who saw their temporary home taken away while they continued to recover from Harvey. (KTRK)

Kenneth Anderson is grateful.

"Thanks for all the help," he told Eyewitness News after a new temporary house showed up on his property this week. "Once we move in we can really focus on getting the house fixed, and from there, we'll move forward. "


Moving forward hasn't been easy for Anderson, his wife, and their two children.

This is the second time FEMA has delivered a furnished modular home. The first one was delivered in November and removed in January. They never hooked up the power because the city of Jones Creek rules didn't allow for it. The city said red tape made changing the rules difficult.

That's when the Andersons called us.

ORIGINAL STORY: Brazoria Co. family's FEMA trailer taken away

"You all interviewing me changed everything," said Anderson.

We reported on their troubles earlier this month. Congressman Randy Weber got involved. The city voted to make an exception until February 2019, and things are looking up, much better than they were over the holidays.

"How do you celebrate a glorious holiday when there's not much glorious happening around your house?" Anderson asked

The Andersons said, at the time, the city didn't do enough to make a temporary exception, but the city's mayor said they tried. Working through the federal bureaucracy took time, and without warning, FEMA took the house.

"We're trying to rebuild and live in the house at the same time," said Meredith Anderson in the days after the first FEMA house was removed. "But it's very difficult to do that. "

A power pole and custom built steps for the missing house still littered her yard.

"City hall was not trying to do anything against him 100 percent," said Mayor Gordon Schlemmer, when we first spoke to him in early January. "There was nobody trying to dog him or anything. We were trying to make it all legal to where it was right. Nowadays, you have to do it legal."

The following week, the city voted and allowed the exception. The FEMA house arrived Sunday.

There is still a lot of work to do on their family home, but now that they can move out, the work will go faster. And they can sleep in separate bedrooms with hot and cold running water. It's the little things these days that mean a lot.

The Andersons expect to be back in their fully repaired home sometime this summer. The city's six-month waiver for RVs, which so many neighbors are using, didn't cover the manufactured house.

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Related Topics:
FEMAhurricane harveydisaster reliefdisasterBrazoria County
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