FEMA Blamed For Ike Housing

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Thousands remain homeless weeks after Hurricane
Ike lashed the Texas coast because of what the state calls a
federal "bureaucratic logjam" slowing the delivery of temporary
housing.

Frustrated officials in areas flattened by Ike are also piling
blame on the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Officials say
families continue living in tents and sleeping in cars more than a
month after the storm.

Michael Gerber of the Texas Department of Housing and Community
affairs acknowledges a "serious housing crisis" is facing several
thousand people in hard-hit areas. Gerber and county officials hold
FEMA responsible.

He estimated several thousand trailer homes are needed across
the region, particularly in Chambers, Orange, Jefferson and
Galveston counties.

FEMA spokesman Dan Martinez said one of the main reasons for the
delay has been "availability of sites" for manufactured homes or
trailers. He said FEMA must be assured the sites have available
utilities and sometimes waivers to locate them in a flood plain.

He said meetings are being held daily to work out these issues.
But Orange County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said he is tired of what he
calls "excuses."


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