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Pressure Yields New HUD Program for Evacuees

---Fema & HUD Funding To Assist Katrina's Evacuees
Housing Needs With New Program---

Pressure mounting from around the country to release
emergency funding to local Public Housing Authorities
to assist Katrina's evacuees, has finally gotten the
Bush Regime's attention.
Roll Back The Rents
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September 24, 2005


---Fema & HUD Funding To Assist Katrina's Evacuees
Housing Needs With New Program---

Pressure mounting from around the country to release
emergency funding to local Public Housing Authorities
to assist Katrina's evacuees, has finally gotten the
Bush Regime's attention.

There appears to be $2 billion in emergency funding
coming from Fema for a new temporary 18 month program
to assist the evacuees housing needs.

The program is to be administered by the local Public
Housing Authorities from across the nation.

See NAHRO's Press Release down below for more
details...

Additional information is provided from HUD's Press
Release, Fema's Press Release, and a Press Release
from the angry Governor of Louisiana...

Of course, all of this hinges on how well the evacuees
can manage to maneuver their way through the maze of
rules and regulations of the housing authorities, and
the landlords that are out to gouge the Section 8
program for every last dime they can squeeze from the
program.

This only applies to those that are eligible for
assistance in the new program...

Because of the One Strike Policy, many states across
the nation prohibit people from applying for Section 8
vouchers or Public Housing, for such minor reasons as
not returning video rentals or jumping turnstiles at a
subway station, minor pot possession charges, etc...

We shall see how this all really plays out in the near
future...


Roll Back The Rents


In todays report...


News Release

HUD No. 05-130
Brian Sullivan
(202) 708-0685
_www.hud.gov/news/

For Release Friday September 23, 2005

JACKSON AND CHERTOFF ANNOUNCE COMPREHENSIVE
TRANSITIONAL HOUSING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR KATRINA
EVACUEES

WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security and
the Department of Housing and Urban Development today
announced a series of measures to accelerate the
delivery of Federal assistance and provide
transitional housing for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Together, these Federal programs will help all
displaced individuals and families obtain needed
stability, while providing them with flexible housing
options as the country works to rebuild communities
throughout the Gulf Coast region.

"Our goal is to use existing resources in an
innovative way to help all displaced individuals and
families move from temporary shelters to more stable,
safe and sufficient housing," said Homeland Security
Secretary Michael Chertoff. "Through this coordinated
effort, the Federal government is taking quick and
immediate action to cut through red tape and deliver
immediate assistance to evacuees."

"Today we are offering residents more than just a roof
over their head," said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson.
"This is an opportunity for thousands of the victims
of Hurricane Katrina to get back on their feet as they
pick up the pieces and start anew. This Administration
remains committed to filling the housing void in the
Gulf Coast region and we will continue to work with
our partners to help reunite families and provide hope
and healing to those who need it most."

Click below for full Press Release...

www.hud.gov/news/release.cfm

**********
HUD will pay Katrina victims' rent

Friday, September 23, 2005

At last, a comprehensive rent payment program from
HUD, in conjunction with Homeland Security:

Evacuees eligible for housing assistance through
[FEMA's Individual and Households Program] will
receive an initial three month rental assistance
payment in the form of check or electronic fund
transfer in the amount of $2,358. This initial payment
is calculated based on the average fair market rent
rate for a two-bedroom unit nationwide. This payment
is portable and may be applied to transitional housing
costs for any location an evacuee determines. In
addition to payment, eligible households will receive
a letter describing specific program rules and
guidelines on eligible uses of funds.

It looks like after the first three months, the fuss
is presumed likely to have calmed down enough for
local housing officials to determine rents according
to the ordinary local limits:

Participants will receive housing assistance that can
be redeemed for both public and private housing units
in any community at the discretion of the participant.
Rents will be calculated at 100 percent of the fair
market rate in the community the evacuee chooses to
relocate.

[UPDATE: According to HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan,
the money will come "from previously appropriated
supplemental funding to FEMA."]

www.housingfinance.com/blog/2005/09/hud-will-pay-katrina-victims-rent.html

**********
Press Release:

U.S. Government Announces a Comprehensive Transitional
Housing Assistance Program for Katrina Evacuees

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010
September 23, 2005

Fact Sheet: Transitional Housing Assistance for
Hurricane Katrina Evacuees

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department
of Housing and Urban Development today announced a
series of measures to accelerate the delivery of
Federal assistance and provide transitional housing
for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Together, these
Federal programs will help all displaced individuals
and families obtain needed stability, while providing
them with flexible housing options as the country
works to rebuild communities throughout the Gulf Coast
region.

Click below for full Press Release...

www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display

**********
NAHRO Welcomes HUD Action on Emergency Housing Needs

U.S. Newswire
September 23, 2005

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment
Officials (NAHRO) welcomes the United States
Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's)
release of its plan to meet the emergency housing
needs of previously HUD-assisted families and
individuals displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

The plan, announced today and effective Monday,
September 26, will provide 18-month transitional
housing vouchers to thousands of previously
HUD-assisted households and will be administered
through the established network of local public
housing authorities (PHAs) across the country.

Since Katrina made landfall, NAHRO has called upon
federal authorities to give local housing agencies-the
nation's experts on connecting families in need with
safe and decent housing-the resources necessary to
meet this unprecedented housing crisis. Today's
announcement indicates that PHAs will soon have the
resources necessary to respond to the needs of the
tens of thousands of displaced Housing Choice Voucher
holders and public housing residents, as well as
households assisted under the Section 202 and Section
811 programs which provide supportive housing for the
elderly and the disabled. NAHRO is also pleased that
previously homeless individuals will be eligible for
assistance under HUD's plan as well. Over the past
several weeks, NAHRO's members have been asking for
the resources to help their communities. As HUD
Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced during today's
press conference unveiling the plan, PHAs "have been
asking, and we are responding."

"From what we have seen thus far, this plan recognizes
the essential role PHAs have and will continue to play
in responding to this national crisis," said NAHRO
Executive Director Saul Ramirez. "At the same time,
the federal government must strike an appropriate
balance between meeting the immediate needs of
displaced families while keeping intact resources
needed to address the national affordable housing
crisis that existed before Katrina made landfall."

As additional details of the plan emerge, NAHRO hopes
that HUD will take the following into consideration.
NAHRO believes this effort should be paid for using
funds previously appropriated to the Federal Emergency
Management Agency under emergency supplemental
legislation, rather than by depleting existing HUD
resources targeted to low- and moderate-income
Americans. Additionally, waiving income eligibility
for this program will allow PHAs to assist displaced
households as expeditiously as possible. The
Department has indicated that every emergency housing
voucher will pay 100 percent of Fair Market Rent for
the community in which a voucher holder chooses to
reside. NAHRO recommends that HUD permit payments of
at least 120 percent of the FMR where necessary,
particularly in light of higher rents demanded for
newly scarce housing units.

Families displaced by the disaster will need support
as they rebuild their lives. NAHRO hopes federal
agencies will coordinate their efforts closely to give
families ready access to transportation, education,
and other necessary supportive services. NAHRO also
recommends that administrative allowances under the
program be sufficient to allow agencies to provide the
intensive housing counseling and relocation services
that these displaced families will need.

NAHRO looks forward to working with the Department to
ensure that previously assisted emergency voucher
recipients are able to resume their participation in
the Housing Choice Voucher program or their residency
in public housing after the 18-month period expires.
While HUD's plan is an important step toward meeting
the needs of previously assisted displaced families
and individuals, NAHRO continues to advocate for a
minimum of 50,000 emergency housing vouchers, with a
two-year term, for previously unassisted households.
NAHRO's members stand ready to assist the Department
with additional efforts designed to address this
crisis, as well as the nation's ongoing need for
affordable housing.

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment
Officials (NAHRO), established in 1933, is a
membership organization of 21,000 housing and
community development agencies and professionals
throughout the United States whose mission is to
create affordable housing and safe, viable communities
that enhance the quality of life for all Americans,
especially those of low- and moderate-income. NAHRO's
membership administers more than 3 million housing
units for 7.6 million people. Web:
www.nahro.org

www.knowledgeplex.org/news/117011.html

news.yahoo.com/news

**********
[Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Responds
Negatively To HUD Announcement]

DAILY BRIEFING
September 23, 2005

Homeland Security, HUD offer housing payments to
evacuees

By Chris Strohm
cstrohm (at) govexec.com

The Homeland Security and Housing and Urban
Development departments announced Friday that citizens
displaced by Hurricane Katrina can receive about $785
a month for three months to pay for transitional
housing.

The aid is available to citizens who were evacuated
from the Gulf Coast and have decided not to live in
mobile trailers provided by the Federal Emergency
Management Agency. Citizens must register with FEMA in
order to receive the payments. The aid will be given
to homeowners, renters, people who lived in public
housing and those who were homeless prior to the
hurricane.

"Our goal is to use existing resources in an
innovative way to help all displaced individuals and
families move from temporary shelters to more stable,
safe and sufficient housing," said Homeland Security
Secretary Michael Chertoff. "Through this coordinated
effort, the federal government is taking quick and
immediate action to cut through red tape and deliver
immediate assistance to evacuees."

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
criticized the housing program, however, saying, "It
does little for Louisiana citizens who want to come
home. With no housing available, vouchers do very
little for our evacuees."

She called on FEMA and the Bush administration to
provide security at hotels and motels and to
dramatically increase the delivery of mobile trailers
to the New Orleans area.

Chertoff said the new program will cost about $2
billion, which will come from emergency supplemental
funding approved by Congress.

All citizens who qualify will receive the payments for
up to three months, and some could receive it for up
to 18 months if they meet special criteria, Chertoff
said. The payments were calculated based on the
average fair market rent for a two-bedroom unit
nationwide. About 750,000 households have qualified
for some kind of FEMA assistance to date, Chertoff
added.

"Together we're going to cut through the government
red tape ... and we're going to make sure that help is
on the way immediately for those who need it most," he
said.

Through the program, relocation specialists will be
available to assist individuals and families in
finding rental units based on the needs of each
family.

Chertoff said the intent of the program is to give
citizens and families flexibility in meeting their
housing needs. The payments can be applied to both
public and private housing at any location.

"We're not making people do anything," Chertoff said.
"The whole point of this program is to let people
decide the fate of their own lives."

www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0905/092305c1.htm

**********
GULF COAST BESIEGED; NEWS ANALYSIS;
Limiting Government's Role;

Bush favors one-time fixes over boosting existing
programs to help Katrina victims.

Peter G. Gosselin and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Times
Staff Writers
Los Angeles Times
September 23, 2005

WASHINGTON

Two days after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf
Coast, the Department of Housing and Urban Development
announced plans to issue emergency vouchers aimed at
helping poor storm victims find new housing quickly by
covering as much as $10,000 of their rent.

But the department suddenly backed away from the idea
after White House aides met with senior HUD officials.
Although emergency vouchers had been successfully used
after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the
administration focused instead on a plan for
government-built trailer parks, an approach that even
many Republicans say would concentrate poverty in the
very fashion the government has long sought to avoid.

A similar struggle has occurred over how to provide
healthcare to storm victims. White House officials are
quietly working to derail a proposal by leading
Republican and Democratic senators to temporarily
expand Medicaid. Instead, the administration is
pushing a narrower plan that would not commit the
government to covering certain groups of evacuees.

As President Bush tackles the monumental task of
easing the social problems wrought by Katrina, he is
proving deeply reluctant to use some of the
big-government tools at his disposal, apparently out
of fear of permanently enlarging programs that he
opposes or has sought to cut.

Instead of depending on long-running programs for such
services as housing and healthcare, the president has
generally tried to create new, one-shot efforts that
the administration apparently hopes will more easily
disappear after the crisis passes. That has meant
relying on the Federal Emergency Management Agency,
which has run virtually all of the recovery effort.

Click below for full story...

www.knowledgeplex.org/news/116943.html

***********
Gas costs escalating for housing authority

DIRK PERREFORT
Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, CT)
September 23, 2005

MILFORD -- The city's housing authority is bracing for
a long -- and expensive -- winter as escalating energy
costs and reduced federal funding pinch the agency's
finances.

Anthony Vasiliou, the Milford Housing Authority's
executive director, said the agency's natural gas
costs have increased nearly 70 percent over last year,
from $82,815 to more than $140,000. The lowest bid for
natural gas received by the authority this week, from
Energy Select, was $140,463. "Those costs could
escalate rapidly if we have a bad winter and use more
natural gas then expected," Vasiliou said. "Luckily,
we went out to bid for the contract this summer before
prices escalated even further."

Compounding those financial constraints, he added, is
a decision by the federal Department of Housing and
Urban Development to stop paying for extra energy
costs.

Click below for full story...

www.knowledgeplex.org/news/117059.html

*********
BEAUTY QUEEN, 20 OTHERS ARE CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING
U.S. HOUSING PROGRAM

MICHAEL A. FUOCO, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania)
September 23, 2005

Nicole Mabrey has been a model in demand, a beauty
pageant winner and the wife of a successful
businessman, but yesterday she was branded a fraud.

She wasn't alone. The U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development said Mabrey and 20 other recipients
of federal low-income housing assistance defrauded the
McKeesport Housing Authority of more than $260,000 by
not reporting or underreporting household income.

Mabrey, of Park Street, was one of 17 suspects
arrested by federal authorities and McKeesport police
on theft charges, a third-degree felony, in a raid
that began at 5 a.m. The other four suspects remained
at large.

Mabrey, 39, who was Mrs. Pittsburgh 1995 and a
runner-up in Mrs. Pennsylvania pageants in 1997 and
1999, is accused of not reporting the $74,100 her
husband, Darryl Bozeman, earned as a quality assurance
engineer at FreeMarkets Inc. from the third quarter of
2003 to the third quarter of 2004.

Click below for full story...

www.knowledgeplex.org/news/116982.html

***********
Evacuees get top housing priority -- Regulators waive
rules for hurricane victims

Wayne Risher risher (at) desotoappeal.com
The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
September 22, 2005

Affordable housing providers are giving preference to
Katrina evacuees for vacant apartments, although few
displaced residents appear to be renting in DeSoto
County.

Managers of complexes totaling more than 1,000 units
reported Tuesday that 19 or 20 apartments had been
leased to Katrina evacuees.

Government regulators have given them flexibility to
waive rules to make sure Katrina evacuees are taken
care of, the managers said.

Also, the Department of Housing and Urban Development
has taken foreclosed houses off the open market
indefinitely so they can be offered first to hurricane
evacuees.

The acting director of HUD's Jackson field office said
she hadn't received any complaints about Katrina
evacuees bumping other applicants out of affordable
housing.

Cassandra Terry said vacant, habitable HUD apartments
and homes in affected states had been made available
to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the
Katrina emergency.

Sixteen or 17 families fleeing Katrina moved into the
Bradford Park, Terrace Park and Hampton Park
apartments on Airways in Southaven, said Jennifer
Mitchell, an assistant manager for the 488-unit
complexes.

The apartments, which receive an indirect subsidy
through federal tax credits, were OK'd by the
Mississippi Home Corp. to sign six-month leases with
Katrina evacuees. The usual term is 12 months.

Click below for full story...

www.knowledgeplex.org/news/116777.html

***********
Council votes 9-0 to keep FEMA housing out of
Ascension

By AARON E. LOONEY The Ascension Citizen Sept 21,
2005

The Ascension Parish Council voted 9-0 Thursday, with
one abstention, to not allow the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) to set up temporary housing
sites in the parish for those evacuated from the New
Orleans are following Hurricane Katrina.

Click below for full story...

www.ascensioncitizen.com/articles/2005/09/21/news/news3.txt


***********
Date: September 22, 2005
Staff Contact: Lisa Blackwell

URGENT- Congressional Action Needed Regarding
Hurricane Katrina Housing
NMHC/NAA Seek Letters of Support

As our nation struggles to recover from one of the
worst natural disasters in our history, one of the
most pressing needs is to find safe and decent housing
for Hurricane Katrina’s victims. The apartment
industry stands ready to aid in those efforts.
However, our ability to meet these housing needs is
severely restricted because of federal regulations.
Therefore, we need you to contact your member of
congress and relay the following messages.

*
We are requesting that the government utilize the
current housing stock of apartments as a means to
provide hurricane evacuees with housing. Our members
are ready, willing and able to assist in this crisis.
In an effort to do this, we need the government to
broadly publicize the www.hurricanehousing.net
website.

*
We are requesting that the government provide a
temporary waiver of a number of statutory and
regulatory requirements for federally assisted
properties who house Katrina evacuees. Without this
waiver, these properties have limits on who can live
in them.

*
Finally, we urge Congress to help resolve important
tax questions that can further increase the amount of
housing available to hurricane victims. Apartment
owners who provide a housing unit to a victim at no
cost should be able to claim that as a charitable
deduction. However, current rules prohibit the
deductibility of these kinds of donations unless they
are made to a qualified tax-exempt organization
instead of directly to the victims.

The United States Congress at present is working on a
variety of proposals to assist the evacuee.
Therefore, NMHC/NAA ask you to write a letter or
simply use the SAMPLE letter on your company’s
letterhead and fax it to your member of Congress.

Click below for full Memo...

www.nmhc.org/Content/ServeContent.cfm


***********
[San Bernadino County PHA Declines To Bump Poor From
Housing List]

Federal housing arranged for evacuees
Waiting-list families not bumped in county

By LEROY STANDISH
Staff Writer
Thursday, September 22, 2005

HESPERIA — The Federal Emergency Management Agency is
coordinating disaster housing assistance for hurricane
evacuees through a multitude of federal housing
agencies across the country and within California.

The program is administered on a voluntary basis.
Individual federal agencies ask local housing
complexes, which they have standing contracts with, if
there are housing units available. Units are then held
for possible evacuees.

"Yesterday we received word (the Department of Housing
and Urban Development) was indicating that some
Section 8 units will be set aside for hurricane
evacuees," Janet Huston, director of communications
for the State Department of Housing and Community
Development, said Wednesday. "This is a federal policy
that's been put in place, and what I can say is that
even in the best of circumstances California is
desperately short of housing."

In some parts of the country HUD is leap-frogging
qualified evacuees to the head of the line and bumping
people who have been on waiting lists for government
housing.

"Those waiting-list families are not happy that they
have been on a list for three years and now are being
bumped again," Donna White, HUD spokeswoman, said. "We
are asking those wait list families to be patient. We
know it is very unfortunate that this is happening,
but what we are finding is that most of these people
that are on wait lists already have homes."

Evacuees from the hurricane are seen as being in
greater need, White said. Current housing for many
consists of little more than a cot in a shelter.

"We are really asking them to put themselves in the
shoes of these victims," White said.
Local administrators of HUD programs say this is not
the case in San Bernardino.

"They aren't bumping anybody," Susan Benner, assistant
executive director of the Housing Authority of the
County of San Bernardino, said.

Currently the agency is assisting only those evacuees
with Section 8 vouchers who had been receiving
assistance in the affected areas.

"We have currently assisted about six (families). We
are forming a waiting list of individuals that we have
confirmed were not receiving assistance in the
affected areas, and that is at about 30 individuals,"
Benner said.

LeRoy Standish may be reached at 951-6277 or
lstandish (at) vvdaily-press.com.

www.vvdailypress.com/2005/112739458555156.html

***********
[Miami Section 8 Update]
HUD wants to reduce vouchers for renters

Posted on Sat, Sep. 24, 2005

A proposal by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development would reduce values of Section 8 vouchers
in South Florida. Advocates and some housing agencies
say they'll protest the change.

BY ANDREA ROBINSON AND AMY SHERMAN
arobinson (at) herald.com Miami Herald

South Floridians who pay their rent with federal
housing vouchers may have to dig deeper into their
pockets if a change requested by the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development goes into effect next
month.

The change would reduce the maximum amount a housing
agency can give to low-income renters under a federal
program known as Section 8 in Broward, Miami-Dade and
Palm Beach counties.

While the 17 housing agencies in those counties serve
40,000 clients, it's unclear how many would be
affected by HUD's decision to lower the amount of some
housing benefits. That's because some agencies already
have set voucher amounts well below HUD's ceiling.

The change would go into effect Oct. 1 for new renters
unless HUD reconsiders. Voucher amounts for existing
participants would be reduced in two years.

Click below for full story...

www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/local/states/florida/counties/broward_county/12728704.htm


***********
Housing cost hike criticized

By Leslie H. Dixon / Daily News Staff
Friday, September 23, 2005

MILFORD -- State Rep. Marie J. Parente hopes to enlist
the help of some high-level Capitol Hill officials in
an effort to spare hundreds of Milford area low-income
tenants from financial devastation.

Parente, D-Milford, will be on the phone this
afternoon with federal and state officials regarding a
change in a bureaucratic rule that could hurt
residents who get government assistance to pay their
rent.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, or
HUD, wants to change the district in which Milford
residents reside from the Boston metropolitan district
to the Worcester area district.

That move will mean renters could see a significant
loss in subsidy -- anywhere from $100 to several
hundred dollars -- in programs such as the Section 8
rental voucher.

Click below for full story...

www.milforddailynews.com/localRegional/view.bg


***********
Housing Authority Follows Federal Mandate

WIVB-TV Buffalo - Sep 23 6:44 PM
(September 23, 2005) - - The Buffalo Municipal Housing
Authority will begin housing Hurricane Katrina
evacuees as early as next week. The BMHA is following
a federal mandate by giving top priority to placing
disaster victims who previously lived in public
housing.

Click below for full story...

www.wivb.com/Global/story.asp

***********
Katrina victims to get public housing here

The Buffalo News - Sep 23 5:54 AM
The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority will begin
placing Hurricane Katrina victims in vacant housing as
early as next week. The board of commissioners
approved top priority Thursday for victims of the
disaster who had been living in public housing.

Click below for full story...

www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20050923/1026035.asp


***********
Public housing resident gets eviction notice for
putting up basketball goal

Tuscaloosa News - Sep 23 2:42 PM
A resident of a Birmingham public housing community
has gotten an eviction notice because she put up a
basketball goal in violation of community rules.

Click below for full story...

www.tuscaloosanews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article


**********
McKeesport raid nets 17 housing-fraud arrests

The Daily News - Sep 23 8:37 AM
Rene Febles said he wanted to send a message to anyone
committing fraud by illegally living in low-income
housing. The assistant special agent in charge of U.S.
Dept. of Housing and Urban Development spoke Thursday
following a raid that netted 17 suspects in
McKeesport.

Click below for full story...

www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm


***********
Official admits swindle

Rocky Mountain News - Sep 22 11:47 PM
Renee Gonzales worked her way to the top of the Fort
Lupton Housing Authority, which provides low- cost
housing to the economically disadvantaged elderly,
families and disabled in the Weld County community of
6,700.

Click below for full story...

www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/state/article/0,1299,DRMN_21_4103081,00.html



Roll Back The Rents
 
 


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