Houston Housing is Full

Houston apartments are full. That's the message from Houston Mayor Bill White. He's also calling on FEMA to honor the 12-month leases many Katrina evacuees have. FEMA has said it wants to terminate those leases six months early. Despite the issues, Katrina evacuees are continuing to move into the housing that is available.

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Even as Houston officials were announcing that there's no more room, one Katrina evacuee was being handed the keys to a northwest Houston house.

Stasia Davis evacuated from New Orleans with her six kids, ages two to 19, her mother and 87 year old grandmother. They stayed with friends for a short time before moving to a shelter. 17 people were in two bedrooms.

Now she has the keys to a four-thousand square foot house in northwest Houston. Fannie Mae is providing 15-hundred homes nationwide, 55 in the Houston area, that had been foreclosed on and are still vacant. Davis can live in the house rent free, utilities paid, for 12 months. At that point, Davis will have the option to buy. That decision will be made later. All Davis knows now is that she will not return to New Orleans.

Davis was a teacher's assistant and is still looking for a job here. She's still having to pay the mortgage on her house in New Orleans which was destroyed. Davis is hoping to sell. All those issues is why having one year rent free is important for her. Harris County Housing Authority CEO Guy Rankin says they one year time frame is important to help stablize the families who find themselves forced to relocate.

Meanwhile, city officials announced that they are running out of housing. An estimated 11,000 are still in area hotels. The mayor announced that Houston would stop issuing housing vouchers on Wednesday.

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