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Home for the Holidays 

A Vietnamese-American woman who initially was denied a FEMA trailer across the street from Mary Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church in eastern New Orleans has received a trailer at the park.

My Huynh, who is 88 years old and confined to a wheelchair, was denied a trailer at the park by FEMA because she had earlier been given a trailer in Baton Rouge. However, Huynh, a longtime resident of the Village de l'Est neighborhood in New Orleans East, declined to live in the Baton Rouge trailer because it was too far from her community.

A Gambit Weekly article ("Broken Promise," Nov. 28) mentioned Huynh's yearlong wait for one of the nearly 200 trailers near Mary Queen of Vietnam and her despair at being denied. Three days after the article appeared, FEMA officials reversed their decision and gave Huynh the keys to a wheelchair-accessible trailer in the park across the street from the church.

The article focused on FEMA's failure to honor a contract signed in January of 2006 with Mary Queen of Vietnam to give parishioners preference for trailers at the park, which is located on property owned by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. In exchange for housing parishioners displaced by Hurricane Katrina, the archdiocese leased the property to FEMA for $10 a year and parishioners paid $80,000 in liability insurance for the site. Nearly all of the trailers are now occupied, but only half of them house parishioners. Dozens of parishioners are still awaiting trailers.


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