FEMA Warns of Looming Housing Deadline

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Nearly 27-thousand families displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita may not have federal aid for rent nex month -- unless they renew by Monday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says the deadline affects evacuees in a long-term housing program.

The program has cost FEMA at least 897 (M) million dollars in Texas since Katrina swamped the Gulf Coast last August.

Katrina made landfall in September in southeast Texas.

About 19-thousand of the families facing Monday's deadline are in Texas.

Authorities say all but about 25-hundred are in Houston, which has absorbed about 150-thousand hurricane refugees since Katrina.

FEMA officials say evacuees who miss the deadline can file after
Monday to renew their assistance.

But those may not be available in time to pay rent that's typically due at the beginning of the month.