Displaced residents worry about evictions

February 2, 2009 4:58:31 AM PST
Some Galveston County residents who are receiving federal housing assistance after being displaced by Hurricane Ike are concerned that they may be evicted because their rents aren't being paid. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The Disaster Housing Assistance Program provides rental assistance for residents until repairs are made to their homes damaged by Ike when it came ashore near Galveston on Sept. 13.

The program, funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the Galveston Housing Authority, gives qualified residents vouchers to find apartments or rental houses. The landlord who accepts the voucher signs an agreement and the housing authority uses its $81.7 million budget from HUD to pay the rents.

Of the 7,000 Galveston County families who qualify for federal housing assistance, 1,800, or 26 percent, have found housing and 74 percent have not.

But some landlords haven't received rent in two and three months and they are now evicting tenants or refusing to accept new tenants, making it difficult for those who qualify to find places to live, The Galveston County Daily News reported Sunday.

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