FEMA working to reinstate Katrina housing payments

[JURIST] Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) [official website] have said that a program providing temporary housing to victims of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] could resume this week. US District Judge Richard Leon last month ordered [PDF text; opinion, PDF] FEMA to reinstate certain housing payments for Katrina victims [JURIST report] due to the agency's failure to clearly explain to evacuees why they were denied housing assistance under the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act [text]. During a court hearing Monday, FEMA officials said that the papers necessary to restart the program would be drawn up by Tuesday afternoon and that letters informing evacuees why housing payments were cut off are being prepared. Leon has previously expressed frustration at the "legal disaster" [JURIST report] created by FEMA's delay in implementing his order, handed down three weeks ago.

FEMA has appealed the ruling [JURIST report] and has asked the appeals court to stay Leon's order while the appeal is being decided. A decision on whether to stay the lower court ruling has not yet been made, but Leon has said FEMA should begin work to comply with the decision immediately. AP has more.

 

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