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Federal Housing Assistance for Hurricane Victims to Run Out

Nearly four years after hurricanes Katrina and Rita Hit Louisiana and Texas, families affected by the two storms are still getting federal assistance. But the U.S. department of Housing and Urban Development says displaced families have until the end of August to find alternative housing. Pat Hernandez has the story.



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When the Disaster Housing Assistance Program for families affected by Hurricanes Katrina or Rita ended it February, it was replaced with the Program’s  Katrina Transitional Plan. Donna White is with the Office of Public Affairs for HUD.

“When our new secretary Shaun Donovan came to the department, he decided that it was important for families who had been displaced by the hurricanes, to give them time to transition out of the program. So, we added on six months of subsidy for families to continue their rent to be paid.”

She says those families now have until the end of August to find alternative housing.

“Families can go into the housing authority that’s been servicing them — in your case it would be Houston Housing Authority or the Harris County Housing Authority — and see if they qualify for HUD’s housing choice voucher program. So, if families are income eligible for that program, the housing authority would simply transition, or convert them to that program.”

White says final rental payment will be paid to landlords on August 1st. The Harris County and Houston Housing Authorities have issued
vouchers to over 1200 families. To date, HUD has spent over 36-million dollars assisting displaced families in Texas and Louisiana with rent payments.

Pat Hernandez, KUHF…Houston Public Radio News.