Living in your camper. It was kind of funny for Cousin Eddie in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" but if you're displaced from your home while it gets repaired following the derecho, it's no laughing matter. You have few options besides bunking with family or friends, ponying up for a motel, or worse, living on the street, or in a tent.

If you've felt like you've been perpetually camping this whole time while you get things fixed back up at home, that's where a new ordinance comes in from the City of Cedar Rapids, allowing displaced storm victims to use RVs (recreational vehicles) such as travel trailers, motor homes, and campers as temporary housing, according to KCRG. It's normally not allowed on a long-term basis, but given the circumstances, it's being permitted until November 15, 2020.

The following guidelines apply, according to the City of Cedar Rapids:

  • Applicants must have been issued a building permit to reconstruct or restore a permanent dwelling structure. A copy of the building permit must be included with the zoning clearance permit application.
  • The RV can only be occupied by the property owner and immediate family or a relative assisting in the restoration or reconstruction of the primary dwelling. No contractors shall be allowed to reside in the temporary housing unit.
  • RVs should not be placed on the existing slab for the primary dwelling; the City must approve the location.
  • RVs must be connected to water, electric, and sewer services.
  • Self-contained non-connected units may be used as temporary housing for up to thirty (30) days and only under hardship conditions such as when there are no services available.
  • Only one unit recreational vehicle is permitted per lot.
  • The property owner must have access to a vehicle capable of towing the recreational vehicle if necessary.

You'll also need to fill out a zoning application and can do so here. Then, submit the completed application to zoning@cedar-rapids.org.

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