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Hurricane Victims Losing Hotel Rooms

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060212/ap_on_re_us/katrina_evacuees_hotels;_ylt=Al4qTjjXpsRZLG42EykTVfys0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MjBwMWtkBHNlYwM3MTg- Hurricane Victims
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 12, 2006

      Hurricane Victims Losing Hotel Rooms

      By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI, Associated Press Writer Sat Feb
      11, 8:53 PM ET

      NEW ORLEANS - Twelve thousand families left homeless
      by hurricanes Katrina and Rita will lose their
      federally funded hotel privileges Monday, the Federal
      Emergency Management Agency announced Saturday.

      This will be the second wave of evacuees weaned off
      the federally-sponsored hotel stays within two weeks.
      Last week, the occupants of roughly 4,500 rooms lost
      FEMA funding for failing to register with the agency.

      FEMA said it would continue to pay for families in
      5,000 hotel rooms across the country.

      Of those departing on Monday, FEMA officials said
      10,500 families, or 88 percent, have received
      rent-assistance checks from the agency, said Libby
      Turner, FEMA's transitional housing director. The cash
      can be used to pay for an apartment or to continue
      their hotel stays. It can also be put toward fixing
      their ruined homes.

      Because they can continue to pay for the rooms
      themselves, the deadline is not "the equivalent of an
      eviction," she said. "This is just about the billing
      of the room — it will no longer be billed to FEMA."

      Yet 1,100 families living in the subsidized hotel
      rooms are not eligible for further assistance from
      FEMA. Turner said those evacuees have been referred to
      other charitable programs.

      One of them is Brittany Brown, 21, currently staying
      on the 13th floor of the New Orleans Crowne Plaza
      hotel, a floor packed with storm victims. She and her
      husband have moved from hotel to hotel, all the while
      waiting for their FEMA trailer to arrive. They want to
      park the trailer in front of their ruined home so that
      they can begin rebuilding.

      With the Monday deadline looming, she turned to FEMA
      asking for rent assistance. Brown was told it would
      take two weeks to review her case, leaving her without
      a trailer, without an apartment and soon without a
      hotel room.

      She plans to move into her sister's house — along with
      her husband, uncle and two children. It will bring her
      sister's two-bedroom household to 10 people.
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