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FEMA Ordered To Continue Katrina Housing Aid

Post Katrina Continued aid 2006

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#1 Mark

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 03:18 PM

Mark: It seems Katrina and Rita evacuees still need more help.

WASHINGTON- A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to immediately resume making housing benefits available to the thousands of evacuees of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said FEMA failed to adequately explain why it ended the 18-month housing assistance program for people who lost their homes in the 2005 storm.

Judge Leon has ordered FEMA to immediately restore short-term housing assistance benefits to all evacuees who as of August were found ineligible for benefits. Also, the judge has ordered FEMA to pay each of these evacuees the short-term assistance benefits they would have otherwise received from September to November 2006.  The request for a preliminary injunction was brought by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN ) on behalf of several thousand evacuees of Katrina and Rita.

Full Article

Edited by Mark, 30 November 2006 - 03:19 PM.

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#2 Rhea

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 09:47 PM

I can safely say that FEMA is  at the bottom of my list of least-favorite agencies, but I'm also baffled. Exactly how long are we going to pay housing for evacuees? I thought housing assistance from FEMA was always meant to be very short-term. Katrina and Rita were unique in scope, but many families have found themselves in this situation after earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters, and I'm pretty sure that long-term (more than a few months) housing assistance was not in the equation. :eek: It doesn't seem possible that it's been over 18 months!

Insurance company payouts are another question. Insurance companies are whores, IMO, who will look for any loophole to keep from paying out money, and often force people to sue them just to get payments they're entitled to by the terms of their policies. For people who are poor to begin with, suing to get their money is often just not a possibility.

Edited by Rhea, 01 December 2006 - 12:12 PM.

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Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#3 The Oncoming Storm

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 08:55 AM

^The other thing that baffles me is this:  Isn't 18 months long enough to figure out where to live and how to get a job to sustain that living?  Here in SE TX, we got a flood of Katrina refugees from N.O. and they have pretty much settled in Houston, integrating into the city's society, taking jobs, and living in apts and houses.  I know the desire to return home is strong, but, N.O. is not (and probably never will be) the city that it was in the Summer of 2005.  Katrina assured that.  Houses are unliveable; less than a half a million people are back in the city; most of the lower class neighborhoods (like 9th Ward and parts of Gentilly) will probably never be rebuilt again simply because the value of the house (given the neighborhood and its age) will not be enough to build a similar house in its location.  The people who lived on those are were screwed the minute the levees broke.  There is no turning back.  Change, here, may be inevitable.

Rose: [disgusted] Oh, look at what the cat dragged in: "The Oncoming Storm."

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#4 Mark

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 01:55 PM

Lost Cause:

Quote

Change, here, may be inevitable.

Mark:
Change is always inevitable...and most of the time, it's healthy.
Mark
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#5 Kosh

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 04:30 PM

They need to burn evey thing that is below sea level, and fill it all in before rebuilding.
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#6 Mark

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 04:46 PM

View PostKosh, on Dec 1 2006, 03:30 PM, said:

They need to burn evey thing that is below sea level, and fill it all in before rebuilding.

Mark: That may be the best thing to do, and then rebuild every home that is below sea level on stilts.
Mark
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#7 Rhea

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 07:58 PM

Makes you wonder....what the hell are they going to do about the levees that won't cost a bazillion dollars???  :Oo:  :blink:  :crazy:

I wish that they had conceived and publicized a rational, ste-by-step plan for rebuilding New Orleans and for dealing with housing, etc. One that a rational human being could understand. One with steps that people could actually follow and know that completing the steps would result in whatever it was they needed next - a temporary place to stay, help with insurance, help with rebuilding, help with anything.

I wonder what the temporary housing tab is up to? :eek:

From everything I've heard from survivors, the process is whatever the opposite of transparent is - so opaque that it's almost impossible to follow, and funds don't follow compliance.

But I don't see how they can continue to pay housing allowances indefintely. Eighteen months should be more than sufficient time to get a job, even if it's not the job you're used to. Temp work, day labor, almost anything would be better than being in limbo.

And there are a lot of people who flat aren't going to be able to go back to New Orleans, and unfortunately, many of those people are the poorest of all.  :(  :glare:

I had a fair number of friends who literally lost everything they had in the San Francisco earthquake. But eventually, however hard it is, you have to move on with your life - find a new job or a new place to live or whatever it takes to get by. And I know in the case of people made homeless in the San Francisco earthquake, it was a matter of a few months of temporary housing at best, and mostly help with form filling that FEMA did.

If this post sounds like it has a split personality, it does. I SO feel for the people who lost their homes and had to relocate and but maybe instead of paying all this indefinite housing money out, the government should have concentrated on helping people find jobs, getting their insurance settlements worked out, etc.

In the long run it seems to me that a job would be better security than a limited Federal housing allowance. Dunno.

Edited to add: I've seen FEMA in action a number of times over the years, having lived through a combo of hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, earthquakes and flash floods (military brathood has strange perqs :p~), and from what I've seen they're generally pretty helpful. Nobody - but nobody - was ready for a catastrophe of the magnitude of Katrina. But they've had time to get their act together, and they should be doing better - much better.

Edited by Rhea, 01 December 2006 - 08:05 PM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#8 Tricia

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 08:41 PM

Not just help in finding jobs but in some cases maybe help them get job training too..

Housing costs should not be covered forever.  At some point, the responsibility for keeping a roof over one's head has to be taken back by the individuals affected.  If they are unable to find a job or are in a training program then other things need to be done...

If they need job training in order to find work or even retraining, then that needs to be done.  If they need housing and their finances do not cover the costs, then they need to be given assistance whether it is Section 8 or whatever.

It is much better to give a hand-up rather than a hand-out.  I know that some will say, that is a liberal idea and where's the money going to come from to do this....

But isn't it better to do these things and have them (hopefully) become productive and self-sufficient individuals rather than continue this way, paying for housing indefinitely?

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