The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is moving to end its subsidies for hotel and motel rooms for 53,000 families displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
On Dec. 1, 2005 -- the previously announced conclusion for FEMA's direct payment hotel/motel program -- direct federal emergency assistance reimbursements for hotel and motel rooms occupied by Hurricane Katrina and Rita evacuees will end.
According to FEMA, less than one percent of the more than 321,000 evacuees once in congregate shelters remain in such shelters today, and virtually all of the congregate shelters are now located in just three states.
The number of evacuees in hotel and motel rooms across the country has also dropped dramatically. However, evacuated families still occupy more than 53,000 hotel rooms, largely in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi. In cooperation with state and local partners, FEMA said it assisting these 53,000 families with long-term housing. Finding longer-term housing for all evacuees is the agency's highest housing priority, and FEMA is actively reaching out to all 53,000 families.
Yeah, right! Is this supposed to be Season's Greetings?