Judge: FEMA Can Halt Direct Hotel Payments
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Feb 13, 1:24 PM (ET)
By MARY FOSTER
(AP) Darryl Travis carries his belongings down Canal Street in New Orleans Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2006....
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A judge let the federal government Monday drop some 12,000 families made homeless by last year's hurricanes from a program that has put them up at hotels nationwide.
FEMA has promised the evacuees from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that they will still receive federal assistance that they can use toward hotel stays or fixing their ruined homes, although the agency will no longer pay for the hotels directly.
Attorneys for the evacuees tried to get U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval to issue a temporary restraining order, saying the forthcoming money from FEMA won't be enough for reasonable living accomodations or for hotel stays.
"We have provided the court with statements from people showing they have not been treated fairly by FEMA," Bill Quigley, who filed the motion with civil rights attorney Tracie Washington, said before Monday's ruling.
Stanwood denied the request a day after the attorneys delivered the request to his home.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is stopping payment for hotel rooms across the country for 12,000 families made homeless by last year's storms.
About 10,500 families, or 88 percent, have received rent-assistance checks
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) -- Lawyers asked for a temporary restraining order Sunday to stop the evictions of 12,000 families left homeless by hurricanes Katrina and Rita from hotels across the nation on Monday.
"We have provided the court with statements from people showing they have not been treated fairly by FEMA," said Bill Quigley, an assistant dean of the Loyola University Law School, who with civil rights attorney Tracie Washington filed the motion.
The attorneys delivered the papers to the home of federal judge Stanley Duval. It was not immediately clear when he would act on the motion.
The 12,000 families made homeless by last year's storms are scheduled to be forced out of their federally funded hotel rooms Monday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Saturday.
That amounts to about 40,000 people, Quigley said, including many who have not received trailers as promised and some who did not find out about the eviction until the beginning of the month.
"Under our reading of the judge's orders, they should be allowed to stay until the beginning of March," Quigley said. "We think FEMA is just trying to clear the books and not taking a careful or compassionate look at these people."
how long will this take some one needs to get trailers delivered and get these people set up