View Full Version : US to cut Katrina hotel payments
11-21-2005, 01:17 AM
Many US families forced to leave their homes by devastating storms have been told that funding for accommodation in hotels will be cut by 1 December.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema), in charge of the relief effort, has paid evacuees some $274m (£159m) since hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Almost 54,000 families are still living in hotels and motels in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.
Fema wants people to move to temporary accommodation before finding new homes.
"There are still too many people living in hotel rooms, and we want to help them get into longer-term homes before the holidays," said David Paulson, acting director of Fema.
"Those affected by the storms should have the opportunity to become self-reliant again and reclaim some normalcy in their lives."
From 1 December, most families staying in hotels will either have to pay the bills themselves or cover the costs with Fema housing aid.
Not all Katrina and Rita evacuees will be affected by the decision.
A total of 12,338 families being housed in hotels in Louisiana and Mississippi can stay until 7 January.
The decision will be most keenly felt in Texas and Georgia, where almost 28,000 hotel rooms are occupied by families.
Texas Governor Rick Parry stressed that evacuees must take personal responsibility for their welfare and housing.
"However, my great concern is that there is still no long-term housing plan for the hundreds of thousands of Katrina victims who lost everything - including their homes - as a result of the storm," he added.
Housing evacuees in hotels was the second stage in Fema's programme to rehouse the victims of Katrina and Rita.
Just 2,941 people remain in emergency shelters, down from a high of 321,000 after the storms, a Fema official said.
The agency is also consolidating housing aid and voucher schemes designed to help evacuees meet accommodation costs.
Voucher schemes will end on 1 March and housing aid will be sent directly to those who qualify.
Hurricane Katrina made landfall on 29 August, with Hurricane Rita sweeping through the Gulf coast on 24 September.
11-21-2005, 03:02 AM
All I can say is that it is about time to end this circus!
I think this message was posted once before, but it comes in handy as a kind of "amen" to the preceding.
Evacuees binge on Cape: Spend fed cash on booze, strippers - By Maggie Mulvihill and Dave Wedge
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - Updated: 03:04 PM EST
BOURNE – Hurricane Katrina evacuees hastily handed $2,000 in federal relief money last month have been living it up on Cape Cod, blowing cash on booze and strippers, a Herald investigation has found.
Herald reporters witnessed blatant public drinking at a Falmouth strip mall by Katrina victims living at taxpayer expense at Camp Edwards on Otis Air Force Base. And strippers at Zachary's nightclub in Mashpee, a few miles from the Bourne base, report giving lap dances to several evacuees.
``They were tipping me $5 a pop,'' said a Zachary's dancer named Angel. ``I told them I felt bad taking their money. But I still took it.''
Another dancer said a large group from the military base was in Zachary's recently and she gave lap dances to several of the victims.
``Some spend good money, but others don't,'' she said.
An assistant club manager, who gave his name only as Michael, acknowledged yesterday that the strip joint is popular with people from Camp Edwards.
``It's no different for someone who lives at Camp Edwards or is stationed at Camp Edwards. As long as they have the proper ID they can go in,'' he said.
On Oct. 5, the Herald observed a virtual parade of evacuees from a bus stop in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Falmouth to nearby liquor stores. Some emerged and openly swilled from brown-bagged containers, while others poured booze into jugs or plastic cups and casually sipped drinks at the Wal-Mart bus stop.
The refugees have access to daily trolley service from Camp Edwards to the Falmouth Mall.
One elderly man poured a bottle of Ruble vodka into a water bottle and spent the afternoon sipping the liquor outside the Wal-Mart. Two other men were seen buying 32-ounce Coors Light cans at George's Liquors and drinking at the bus stop.
Last Tuesday, one 52-year-old evacuee, who told a reporter he was originally from Cuba, stood in the rain outside Wal-Mart for several hours drinking gin and orange juice from a thermos. The same day, a female evacuee bought ice at a supermarket and roughly $30 worth of hard liquor before being driven in a car back to Camp Edwards. Evacuees are banned from bringing booze onto the base.
One Camp Edwards source said evacuees swiped liquor off shelves at the U.S. Coast Guard store on the base and drank it in the aisles.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has issued more than $1.5 billion to 607,000 Katrina victims in the form of individual cash handouts of $2,000. There are no restrictions on how the money can be spent, FEMA officials said.
Gov. Mitt Romney and the Legislature approved a $25 million emergency aid package to feed and house 235 of the evacuees at Camp Edwards. As of mid-September, the Red Cross had doled out another $25,000 in debit cards for victims sent to the Bay State.
The Camp Edwards residents have been treated to Red Sox and New Orleans Saints games, Boston Duck Tours, a chowder fest, concerts, and free cell phone and Internet service, as well as cookouts sponsored by Romney and U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).
Since the Sept. 8 arrival of the original 235 evacuees, a handful of unruly drunks have been taken into protective custody, according to law enforcement officials.
More than half the evacuees have left Camp Edwards for other housing, and 114 refugees remain at the encampment, which is slated for shutdown Thursday.
Falmouth police Chief David Cusolita said police cracked down on public drinking at the Wal-Mart after complaints last month but he reported no recent incidents.
Barnstable Sheriff Jim Cummings said some of the intoxicated refugees were taken into custody by state police, while others were escorted to their dorms.
11-21-2005, 10:21 PM
It's very difficult to find information on the state of New Orleans nearly three months after the disaster. I know some Bourbon Street businesses re-opened quickly, but I'm curious about a lot of things, such as how many residents have been able to return to their homes? How many neighborhoods remain completely uninhabitable? What about electricity and other basic services? What about corporations and other downtown businesses? What is the population of the city currently and how many non-Americans have been brought in to work on the various no-bid reconstruction projects going on? What about the other Gulf Coast towns hit so hard? What is the game plan on rebuilding the city; a lot of different scenarios were initially mentioned. Where is the information on all this?
11-21-2005, 11:20 PM
Here are a couple of web sites with a lot of the information you are
asking about. I don’t know if it is exactly what you are after or
http://www.cityofno.com/portal.aspx and http://www.neworleansonline.com/katrina/index.html (http://www.neworleansonline.com/katrina/index.html)
11-22-2005, 08:56 PM
Michael, thanks for the links. I was speaking of the media in a general way with the lack of coverage. I would think a lot of people would be very interested to know how the entire Gulf Coast region affected by Katrina is progressing, or not progressing, but the corporate media is not giving that information as best I can tell. We all know why many issues are not covered, or not covered accurately, but I'm not sure what's going on here. This event, especially what happened to New Orleans, is one of the biggest stories in U.S. history.
11-22-2005, 09:23 PM
We all know why many issues are not covered, or not covered accurately, but I'm not sure what's going on here. This event, especially what happened to New Orleans, is one of the biggest stories in U.S. history.
I’d guess that if the corporate media is not giving it much attention (or none at all), the logical assumption would be that what is going on (or not going on) must be something which does not fit the corporate media’s agenda.
The criterion for this would be that whenever there is one of those infrequent occurrences of white-on-black crime, the corporate media proclaims it from the housetops–a cause celebre; when the usual black-on-white crimes occur, there is the silence of the tomb.
11-23-2005, 01:37 PM
Occam's Razor to the rescue: I suspect NOLa is "old news" by now to most people, two generations having been raised on 23 minute sitcom plots -- and that conversely our overlords are too busy dealing with the meltdown of the Bush admin to think about anything else.smileys/smiley2.gif
As the "residents" of the hotels are asked to leave what were income generating facilities,job locations,and tax sources,one has to wonder what kind of shape these places will be left in.
Some info has 'leaked" about the condition of the cruise ships,and the crime occuring there!If these venues are damaged so badly,as to not survive,count on "WE",as taxpayers to pay for all new locations!
Would it not be interesting to talk,"off the record",to employees of the ships and hotels involved?!
11-23-2005, 11:34 PM
ABC News just ran a piece on New Orleans. The official death toll is 1,324 but there are still thousands of people missing. Some are living in various places around the country, but many others are corpses in morgues or in the attics and wreckage of homes.
There are 400,000 to 500,000 people still classified as "displaced," some three months after Katrina. If government neglect hadn't led to the collapse of the levees, almost all of this would have been avoided, including the eventual tab of hundreds of billions of dollars, which of course must be borne by Washington's subjects.
11-24-2005, 09:41 PM
There are 400,000 to 500,000 people still classified as "displaced,"
some three months after Katrina. If government neglect hadn't led
to the collapse of the levees, almost all of this would have been
avoided, including the eventual tab of hundreds of billions of dollars,
which of course must be borne by Washington's subjects.
Infrastructure is something that maintenance and upgrades can be put
off for years and if the politicians are lucky they will not be the
ones to face the consequence of their actions. But since they have been
putting off infrastructure repairs and upgrades for so long much of it
is nearing failure and that is what happen in New Orleans.
In the next few years, there has been so much neglect and abuse of the
country’s infrastructure more catastrophe failures are very
likely. But just think about all the money that was
diverted elsewhere by the politicians. Politicians and their friends
(business people) often don’t think long term and if one neglects the
infrastructure you pay more in the end but, in the short term, the
politicians and their friends can spend the money on themselves and
their pet projects.
11-25-2005, 03:50 PM
Here is an article with information on hurricane devastated areas outside of New Orleans.
Note how these people who are not being helped are almost exclusively
White. The government even though completely incompetent
does everything it can to help the non-whites as the mainstream media
screams the story to the world, but when Whites are in need there is
only silence and inaction.
12-02-2005, 12:46 AM
ABC News has been reporting on the aftermath of Katrina on the three month anniversary of the (mostly) government-caused fiasco. Don't know if the other establishment networks have been doing the same as I mainly watch ABC, not that it's any improvement over the competition. Here's a typical report, little of substance, big surprise there:
12-02-2005, 05:39 AM
Which is the big surprise, Don -- the lack of kids, the wreck of peoples' faith in govt, it's unwillingness to rebuild effectively? These are all surprising to me, even those that are not surprising. And the big laugh for me is that they still pretend to link the storm with the damage -- why, that's like pretending there's a link between 9/11 and Ayrabs, LOL ROTF!
12-02-2005, 06:06 AM
Nelson, there's still time for you to send your donation to the Clinton-Bush-Halliburton Relief Fund. smileys/smiley36.gif
12-02-2005, 01:39 PM
Ah -- are you implying that a govt that can instantly lay hands on $1 bil a day for "war" near Israel for two years and counting, should be able to come up with $35 billion to fix a major city and do it right for a change?
Don, are implying that this would have to mean there's something radically wrong with this picture -- that if true, it would inexorably have to mean that "our" government and "our" military don't give a rat's ass about "our" safety -- i.e. the true "security" of the very "homeland" that produced even them?
That they don't LOVE us?
There you go again, Sir, with your conspiracy "theories"! . . . . . .
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