The Houston Chronicle has published a story linking victims of Hurricane Dolly and Hurricane Ike to FEMA denials based on “deferred maintenance.” The article includes mention of TRLA’s lawsuit against FEMA on behalf of many of these victims and our argument that FEMA’s policies disproportionately discriminate against the poor.
FEMA denies funds for pre-existing home problems
By MIKE SNYDER Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
Jan. 24, 2009, 8:19PM
Volunteers from LINC-Houston, a faith-based nonprofit, repair roof damage caused by Hurricane Ike at Dolores Hedger’s home Saturday in east Houston. Hedger applied for FEMA assistance but was turned down because of “deferred maintenance.”
Like many low-income homeowners, Dolores Hedger has struggled for years to patch up her house in a low-lying East End neighborhood that seems to flood with every major storm.
“Little by little, I save. I buy a few two-by-fours. When I have enough to do a room, I fix up that one room,” Hedger said Saturday.
Hurricane Ike, though, proved too much for this incremental approach. The roof of Hedger’s house succumbed to Ike’s winds, causing leaks that damaged floors and walls. Mold has begun to creep in.
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