Leaders want answers from FEMA on housing

November 7, 2008 12:21:51 PM PST
Senator Kay Bailey-Hutchison says short term housing remains an urgent need for many Hurricane Ike victims.ROAD TO RECOVERY: How you can help | Person locator | Important phone numbers | Assistance from FEMA | Filing a claim

Hutchison and Senator John Cornyn addressed the situation with the head of FEMA Friday in Galveston. A lot of local leaders were in attendance, including Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas, county judges from the coastal regions.

They all really want to know the same thing from the top, which is why FEMA is having such a problem meeting the needs of people when it comes to short-term housing after Hurricane Ike.

Hurricane Ike made thousands of homes and residences uninhabitable due to wind damage and flooding. But area leaders say that a thick layer of bureaucracy when it comes to FEMA is making it hard for people to recover. Of the 400,000 FEMA applications, only 37,000 have been approved and local leaders do not like those numbers.

Today, FEMA Administrator David Paulison tried to address the housing issues.

"The mobile homes and the parked homes that we are using have very little Formaldehyde, so we are using those," said Paulson. "The problem is finding a place to put them. It is not a matter of having enough. We have enough mobile homes to satisfy the mission. It's finding a place to put them. We are working with the judges. We are working with the mayors of the cities to identify places."

He says there are 1,000 trailers on the ground right now. Six-hundred of them are already occupied. The rest will be occupied by the end of this weekend. It's really a drop in the bucket and it scratches the surface when it comes to our problems for housing in the Galveston-Houston region.

Paulison says he plan on coming and his top priorities as he put it are 'housing, housing and housing'.

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