Texas Housers – Current FEMA disaster recovery policy will leave low-income hurricane survivors unassisted

Lower income Texas families whose homes are damaged by Hurricane Alex and future hurricanes this season will be denied financial assistance due to an undocumented Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) repair policy. FEMA’s policy of refusing to assist households whose homes needed repairs before a hurricane (termed “deferred maintenance”) came to light in the wake of hurricanes Dolly and Ike in 2008, leaving 115,000 Texas elderly, disabled and low-wage homeowners without the help they need to repair their homes.

“This tragedy will be repeated again unless FEMA stops its ad hoc policy of denying home repairs to help poor families with disaster damage,” said John Henneberger, co-director of the Texas Low income Housing Information Service (TxLIHIS). “We met with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on the ground in Texas to show him the devastating consequences of this discriminatory policy six months ago, yet nothing has changed.”

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