The federal government has been busy shopping for mobile homes. FEMA says they need 30,000 homes for those displaced by hurricane Katrina right away. Local retailers say consumers who want a home are going to have to be patient.
The five single-section mobile homes sitting at Luv Homes in Tyler won't be there tomorrow. That's because they belong to the government.
"They contacted us it was this past weekend and said that FEMA has agreed to take our inventory of our single-wides for the families down in the gulf region," said Kent Selby, General Manager of Luv Homes. Tomorrow the five mobile homes will be driven to Texarkana, Texas, a staging area setup by FEMA.
"I guess they can put them in a park, hook up electricity to them, hook up a sewer system to them and people can move right into them," said Selby. Clayton Homes owns about 400 mobile home businesses throughout the country, including Luv Homes. They agreed to sell about 18 hundred mobile homes to FEMA.
John Carl owns American Homes in Tyler. Last week he got a letter from the Manufactured Housing Institute. MHI says FEMA wants all existing inventory that's ready to ship. FEMA has not ruled out multi-section homes, but right now it's just looking for single-section homes. FEMA also wants to know the prices.
"As of today, my company hasn't heard back in terms of what they want to purchase from us and a lot of the consumers we have are very nervous about it because if we're out of inventory what are they going to buy," said John Carl, Owner of American Homes. Carl does know factories have to increase production.
"A couple of the factories that I've talked to our preparing to ramp up, bring in more people, but you got to get them trained and it takes awhile," said Carl. American homes says until it hears from FEMA it does have single-section homes available, but that could change in a matter of days.