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Thread: Katrina Evacuees facing eviction.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default Katrina Evacuees facing eviction.

    By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON Two months after Hurricane Katrina displaced more than 1 million people, problems with federal housing aid threaten to spawn a new wave of homelessness.
    In Texas, thousands of evacuees who found shelter in apartments face eviction threats because rents are going unpaid.

    In Louisiana, some evacuees are beginning to show up in homeless shelters because they haven't received federal aid or don't know how to get it. (Related story: At FEMA trailer park in La., a swirl of emotions)

    Advocates for the poor say the situation will worsen this winter.

    "They are the poorest folks ... and they are the ones who are going to be left with nothing," says Sheila Crowley, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. "It's going to show up at homeless shelters this winter."

    The housing crunch could get tighter in November, because the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wants to move an estimated 200,000 Katrina evacuees out of hotels as soon as possible. (Related story: Katrina, Rita victims settle in elsewhere)

    That increases the need for apartments, trailers and mobile homes.

    Pressure is building on FEMA to alter its policies. Two programs provide rent money directly to evacuees or reimburse local governments. But many evacuees have not received the cash or have used it for other needs. And some cities refuse to spend their own money up front.

    Representatives of apartment owners who met with federal officials in Dallas on Thursday say about 15,000 Katrina evacuees in Texas alone face eviction in November for unpaid rent or for other reasons. "You face the possibility of people who rent apartments being displaced again," says Jim Arbury of the National Multi Housing Council.

    FEMA spokeswoman Nicol Andrews says the agency is not considering changes. Any city that runs its own program will be reimbursed, she says.

    Evacuees who have trouble using FEMA's three-month, $2,358 rent checks can get help from caseworkers. "If (landlords) choose to evict people," she says, "they're free to do that."

    Houston spent its own money for apartments for more than 5,000 families and issued rent vouchers for 25,000 more, says Sharon Adams of the city's Hurricane Housing Task Force.

    Dallas used private funding to house about 2,000 families for two months, but the money will run out soon.

    "As callous as it sounds, our commitment to them was two months," says Celso Martinez of the Dallas mayor's office.

    In Louisiana, directors of homeless shelters in Baton Rouge say they have taken in some evacuees from New Orleans who have nowhere else to go. "We're trying to help them get federal help, but they've sort of slipped through the cracks," says Michael Acaldo, CEO of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which operates several shelters.

    Can you even believe this shit? I know Bush is distracted by the collapse of his little fiefdom, but is he and the rest of the gov't going to just sit by while these people end up with absolutely fuck all?
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Hit By Ban Bus! UndercoverGator's Avatar
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    Did you know that they are trying to evict the people living in FEMA trailers down in Florida who after a year cannot find a place to live so they can move those trailers to Louisiana and Texas? Seems to me that the administration isn't dealing with the core issue, a people that have no skills and no opportunities yet are being expected to pull themselves out of their poverty alone.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Didn't you get the el shrubbo/repug memo about how hard work and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps will get you out of troubling times in seconds flat? Look at old Georgie...I mean, we all know he got where he is today by the sweat of his brow...
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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