FEMA Extends Hotel Housing Program - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/24/05 - Lufkin

FEMA Extends Hotel Housing Program

by Ramonica R. Jones

FEMA extended its hotel housing program in ten states, including Texas and Louisiana. The news is definitely something evacuees are thankful for.

Sharon Sims of New Orleans said, "All the apartments I checked, my family composition [doesn't]qualify, so that's why I'm stuck. I think that is enough time to find housing, it really is, you just got to pray and hope you run up on the right thing."

Months after the storms, more than 50,000 evacuees still call Texas hotels and motels home.

Victor Patel, president of U.S. Hospitality, said, "We think it gives people time to get more situated and plan for alternative accommodations, and have more time to find closer accommodations to where they're from or even in the local market."

FEMA's announcement is extra special to Camille Fletcher. She just found her little dog that went missing after Hurricane Katrina. He'd been gone for 80 days. She plans to move out of the Holiday Inn in Lufkin and go back home as soon as possible.

"FEMA is helping us find apartments in New Orleans and they have already helped us pay to get our flood-damaged home taken care of," said Fletcher. "Everything's just coordinating and coming together right now."

Thanksgiving will probably never be the same for any of the evacuees, but they'll always have a reason to give thanks.

Evacuees now have until January 7th to move out of hotels and motels and into more permanent housing.

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