Texas Plan for Transitioning Evacuees Approved

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended the deadline for moving hurricane evacuees from Texas hotels to January 7th.

The new deadline of January 7th also is the cut-off date for new FEMA-reimbursed apartment leases.  "I am pleased that Texas has met the requirement to secure the new January 7th deadline," said Governor Rick Perry.  "The transition of Katrina evacuees to long term stability remains a FEMA responsibility, but we recognize that we must do all that we can to help the victims of the disaster," Perry added.

The approved plan was a joint effort by state and FEMA officials.  Local officials also provided input to the plan, which describes how state and local officials will help FEMA accomplish its mission to transition individuals and families to more permanent housing.  The plan was submitted to FEMA on December 6th.

Hurricane Katrina slammed parts of the Gulf coast in late August.  Hundreds of thousands of Lousiana residents fled their home state to Texas.  Hurricane Rita followed a month later.  FEMA this week reported more than 30,000 people remain in hotels and motels in Texas due to the storms.

FEMA had set December 1st as the deadline for evacuees to stop receiving federal assistance for hotel bills.  The deadline later was extended to December 15th.  Texas and nine other states applied for extensions lasting until January 7th.  "This extension is a good start, but more time will be needed to ensure the needs of every evacuee are met.  It is an enormous challenge to address the unique housing needs of each individual and family," Governor Perry said.