What will be paid and what will not be paid are some of the questions Katrina evacuees are asking as they transition from one housing program to another. Houston Public Radio’s Capella Tucker reports multiple deadlines and FEMA policy changes are causing confusion for evacuees.
The city of Houston has about 34,000 households in the Katrina housing program. At the end of this month, about 22,000 households will be switched to a different assistance program.
The change of housing programs has caused confusion over who pays the electric bills. Housing Task Force Spokeswoman Cindy Gabriel says FEMA changed its policy last week and now says utilities will be paid by the housing program. But Gabriel says they are concerned about any evacuee who might have signed up for service with other electric providers.
“Really the only people who have to do anything with their utilities right now are just a small group of people, we don’t have any idea how many, who may have chosen to go with another energy company other than Reliant.”
Evacuees who signed up with other electric providers are asked to call the Housing Task Force at 713-715-6500.
Housing officials say FEMA still has to decide what will happen to about 12,000 evacuee households. City officials say those households will remain in the city administered program until FEMA reaches a final decision. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.