The December first deadline that the Federal Emergency Management Agency moved from December first to January 7th for paying for hotel and motel rooms is not automatic.
FEMA says Texas, along with the nine other states affected by the ruling, must first submit a plan for long term housing before the deadline is extended. FEMA’s Butch Smith says the Texas plan should be submitted next week. Smith says there are other obstacles that fema is working to fix in the effort to get Katrina evacuees into more permanent housing.
Even with the deadline extension, FEMA payments for housing are to end March first, but FEMA says that simply means evacuees who have applied, will continue to receive payments on an individual basis. Evacuees must apply for individual assistance by January 11th. Evacuees can apply by calling 800-6-2-1 FEMA.
FEMA’s Albie Lewis says despite all the challenges, a lot of people have been moved out of hotel rooms.
In Houston today hurricane evacuees occupy more then 5,300 hotel and motel rooms.