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Hurricane Harvey

Hotels Hard To Come By For Houstonians Approved For FEMA Assistance

Many hotels that accept FEMA vouchers are booked out.

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  • The "shop" for donated goods at the NRG shelter (Photo Credit: Florian Martin)
    The "shop" for donated goods at the NRG shelter (Photo Credit: Florian Martin)
  • Dining area at the NRG shelter (Photo Credit: Florian Martin)
    Dining area at the NRG shelter (Photo Credit: Florian Martin)
  • Shelter residents seek assistance with different agencies at the NRG shelter. (Photo Credit: Florian Martin | Houston Public Media)
    Shelter residents seek assistance with different agencies at the NRG shelter. (Photo Credit: Florian Martin | Houston Public Media)
  • Sleeping cots at NRG Center (Photo Credit: Florian Martin Houston Public Media)
    Sleeping cots at NRG Center (Photo Credit: Florian Martin Houston Public Media)
  • The single men section at the NRG Center shelter (Photo Credit: Florian Martin | Houston Public Media)
    The single men section at the NRG Center shelter (Photo Credit: Florian Martin | Houston Public Media)
  • Sleeping cots at NRG Center (Photo Credit: Florian Martin)
    Sleeping cots at NRG Center (Photo Credit: Florian Martin)

Cindy Cruze's Pearland apartment was flooded during Tropical Storm Harvey and she said she lost everything.

FEMA approved her for temporary shelter assistance, but she said she can't find a hotel in her area that's available.

"Been calling every single one of them," she said. "And they're all booked."

She initially paid out of her own pocket for a hotel near her work. Now she's checking in at the shelter at NRG Center as her only option.

According to FEMA, the agency so far has provided temporary housing for close to 60,000 Texans. More than 30,000 are still in shelters.

FEMA spokesman Bob Howard in Austin couldn't provide any numbers for Houston but he said many evacuees are having to look far away from their home or work.

"Simply because of the amount of damages that has severely limited the amount of housing stock in the area," he said.

Those who have found an apartment to stay at may be eligible for emergency rental assistance, he said, which covers at least the first two months of rent.

And a housing task force consisting of FEMA, state and local governments is working to determine the needs and will make a recommendation on how to meet them.