It was the worst natural disaster New Orleans has seen and one of the worse in U.S history. Tens of thousands of people fled New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and many of them came to Houston. Many were poor and needed help. And some of them are still getting that help three years later in the form of housing subsidies. But Judge Ed Emmett says the government has paid its last rent check, and former Katrina evacuees are now on their own.
“It’s not that they’re being kicked out of the apartments. They’re welcome to stay, it’s just they’ll be paying their own rent completely after this.”
Emmett said the program started off with good intentions. The goal was to help those who had no where else to go. But that was then…and over time the amount of rent money they received decreased little by little and now the program has run its course.
“I think going forward, no matter what the disaster, congress and the people that fund these things are gonna have to take a hard look at: How long do you let it go, and what’s the overall cost.”
There’s a similar assistance program for Hurricane Ike victims, but since those people didn’t have to move to a different state…they’re not expected to receive money for as long a period of time.
Bill Stamps, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.