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Feds Try to Bankrupt Housing Programs Under Guise of Helping Hurricane Victims

The Bush Regime continues to find new ways to loot HUD
programs, and the fear exists that under the guise of
Katrina relief, new HUD programs and new waivers to
administer existing HUD programs may end up being a
death knell to the nations existing housing programs.
October 3, 2005

By Lynda Carson
Rollback The Rents


---LOOTING HUD FUNDED PROGRAMS---

The Bush Regime continues to find new ways to loot HUD
programs, and the fear exists that under the guise of
Katrina relief, new HUD programs and new waivers to
administer existing HUD programs may end up being a
death knell to the nations existing housing programs.

The recent announcement of the two new housing
programs for Katrina's evacuess, shows that the
programs have been set up in such a way that HUD
funding may be siphoned off to cover Fema's expenses
for Katrina relief.

There definitely appears to be two Katrina rental
payment programs that heve been created during the
past week. One operated by FEMA, and one operated by
HUD. It appears the promised initial $2,358 payments
to the evacuees are to come from FEMA, but then it
looks as though both HUD and FEMA may make later
payments. Which leaves it not quite clear which
governmental pocket the money will be coming out of as
time moves forward.

If HUD funding is being looted to cover Fema's
expenses for Katrina relief, this creates funding
shortages to operate the existing housing assistance
programs, such as Section 8 and Public Housing.

---HOUSING DISASTER---

Making matters worse for those seeking assistance
under the new programs, is the fact that Fema does not
offer money for security deposits that the landlords
demand, and for the poor this is a major obstacle to
finding housing. Currently, 100,000 people still
reside in such makeshift housing, and 400,000 more are
in hotel rooms costing up to $100 a night, plus theres
more than 100,000 people in around 1,000 shelters
operated by the Red Cross, smaller charities and
churches, scattered across two dozen states.

Communities across the nation are now finding their
homeless shelters are being flooded with Katrina
evacuees that failed to become eligible for the
promised housing assistance programs due to past legal
problems, and because of the poor that cannot find
housing without the assistance needed to cover the
expense of security deposits. Vouchers are no good to
anyone that lacks the money for security deposits.
See story from Omaha down below...

The magnitude of the Katrina catastrophe, has pitted
the evacuees against the poor all across the nation.

---HUD's New Program---
The new HUD KDHAP program will assist the members of
each household, wherever they choose to settle, by
paying up to 100% of the local HUD-determined Fair
Market Rent (FMR). This is more generous than regular
Section 8 vouchers, but not enough to cover the cost
of high rents in areas such as San Francisco... See
below for the latest on Fair Market Rents...

---BUSH REGIME IS LOOTING HUD FOR POLITICAL BASE---
In another disturbing turn of events, HUD funding is
soon to be siphoned away to cover the expenses of
charitable groups that have assisted in the Katrina
relief efforts in the Gulf Coast area.

[Both religious and secular officials have questioned
the decision to begin compensating charitable acts.]

When Congress passed legislation for HUD's FY 2005
budget, there was nothing in it that stated the Bush
Regime would be allowed to loot HUD's funding programs
in order to repay back the charitable donations of his
faith based political base. Despite that, this is
exactly what they plan to do.

Since the Bush Regime has decided to loot HUD programs
in an effort to cater to his religious base, and he
has promised to pay them all back (tens of millions of
dollars) for their charitable giving during the
Katrina catastrophe, this puts a whole new spin on the
definition of charity...

This has never occurred before and is setting a
precedent...

This is just another blatant effort of the Bush Regime
to shift federal dollars to the faith based
orgarnizations that are his political base, and the
result is that there shall be less funding for the
nations housing assistance programs in the near
future. See article down below called "Underwriting
charity"...

It is a big mistake for people to remain silent while
millions upon millions of precious dollars in HUD
funding is being siphoned away from the nations
housing programs, under the guise of Katrina relief.

I would have personally felt much better if the money
was being looted from the federal programs that are
dropping 500 pound bombs on the people of Iraq.

The madness of looting HUD programs to repay
charitable giving and the recent statements by HUD
Secretary Jackson about keeping blacks out of New
Orleans are blatant examples of an administration that
has run amuck...


Roll Back The Rents



FEMA and HUD Post-Katrina Rental Assistance Programs
September 29, 2005 -- NLIHC

On September 23, the Department of Homeland Security
and the Department of Housing and Urban Development
announced two distinct programs to address the housing
needs resulting from Hurricane Katrina.

This side-by-side comparison covers the major
components of the two programs. Many details are
still to be worked out and many concerns have been
raised regarding both programs.

Click below for comparisons of the new HUD and Fema
housing programs.

www.nlihc.org/news/093005.html

*********
New -- Transitional Housing Assistance Program

What is Transitional Housing Assistance?

* $2,358 per household, as an initial payment for
three month’s rental assistance, and may be extended
for qualifying applicants for up to 18 months.

Click below for full Fema statement...

www.fema.gov/press/2005/katrinatranshousing.shtm

*********
Fair Market Rents (FMR's) -- Updated September 28,
2005
[HUD's final figures for the value of a Section 8
Voucher in your area for FY 2006.]

Click below for the latest HUD figures for Section 8
voucher payments for FY 2006...

www.huduser.org/datasets/fmr.html

For reference to HUD's proposed FMRs before the final
numbers were released, the NLIHC analysis of the June
figures from HUD may be found below...

---Trends in the New Fair Market Rents (NLIHC)---

As reported last week (Memo, 6/3), HUD has released
proposed FY06 Fair Market Rents (FMRs). These new
numbers generally use the new Office of Management and
Budget (OMB) metropolitan area definitions, although
HUD made numerous changes to boundaries to attempt to
better reflect true housing market conditions.

www.nlihc.org/mtm/mtm10-23.html

*********
Demographics of the Katrina Catastrophe...

www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2005/katrina.htm


*********
[New Orleans: Gentrification by Genocide]
Katrina Updates From The San Francisco Bay View...

www.sfbayview.com/

*********
HUD boss says New Orleans "not going to be as black"

By Joel Havemann
Los Angeles Times
Saturday, October 1, 2005

WASHINGTON — President Bush's housing secretary has
touched off a tempest by saying a revived New Orleans
no longer may be a majority-black city and that some
of the low-lying, predominantly black neighborhoods
probably should not be rebuilt.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso
Jackson said he expected New Orleans, a city of about
475,000 that was two-thirds black before Hurricane
Katrina struck, to emerge only 35 to 40 percent black
and with possibly 350,000 residents.

"Whether we like it or not, New Orleans is not going
to be 500,000 people for a long time," Jackson told
the Houston Chronicle, which published his comments
Thursday. "New Orleans is not going to be as black as
it was for a long time, if ever again."

Jackson's remarks drew howls from some black leaders,
who said Katrina's black victims would be alienated.
Some housing experts said they reflected the absence
of an administration policy to deal with providing
affordable housing for tens of thousands of displaced
families.

Click below for full story...

seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002532703_canenawlins01.html

*********
(Prisoner Housing News)
Prisoners Evacuated After Hurricanes Allege Abuse

New York Times - Oct 01 9:28 PM
Lawyers for inmates in Louisiana say that prison
guards have been engaging in abuse of some of the
nearly 8,000 prisoners who have been evacuated from
flooded jails in the New Orleans area after Hurricane
Katrina.

Click below for full story...

www.nytimes.com/glogin!i!Q2FQ2FkiQ2BQ2FiQ2F!i5lJA_5lci5lJA_5lcLjPfAlciQ2F!Q5ElAcvQ27J7c


*********
HUD chief foresees a 'whiter' Big Easy

By Brian DeBose
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
September 30, 2005

A Bush Cabinet officer predicted this week that New
Orleans likely will never again be a majority black
city, and several black officials are outraged.

Alphonso R. Jackson, secretary of housing and urban
development, during a visit with hurricane victims in
Houston, said New Orleans would not reach its
pre-Katrina population of "500,000 people for a long
time," and "it's not going to be as black as it was
for a long time, if ever again."

Rep. Danny K. Davis, Illinois Democrat and a member of
the Congressional Black Caucus, quickly took issue.

"Anybody who can make that kind of projection with
some degree of certainty or accuracy must have a
crystal ball that I can't see or maybe they are more
prophetic than any of us can imagine," he said.

Other members of the caucus said the comments by Mr.
Jackson, who is black, could be misconstrued as a
goal, particularly considering his position of
responsibility in the administration.

"I would beg and hope that the secretary, if that is
what he is saying, would re-evaluate the situation,"
said Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat.

Click below for full story...

washingtontimes.com/national/20050929-114710-8545r.htm

**********
Housing Promises Made to Evacuees Have Fallen Short
Red Cross to Halt Hotel Stipends in 2 Weeks, And
Hundreds of Shelters Have Closed

By Spencer S. Hsu and Elizabeth Williamson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, October 2, 2005; Page A01

Two weeks before President Bush's mid-October goal for
moving Hurricane Katrina victims out of shelters, more
than 100,000 people still reside in such makeshift
housing, and 400,000 more are in hotel rooms costing
up to $100 a night.

Housing options promised by the federal government a
month ago have largely failed to materialize. Cruise
ships and trailer parks have so far proved in large
part to be unworkable, while an American Red Cross
program -- paid for by the federal government -- that
allows storm victims to stay in motels or hotels is
scheduled to expire Oct. 15. It is projected to cost
the Federal Emergency Management Agency as much as
$168 million.

Federal officials are struggling to launch an
alternative interim housing program that would give
families whose homes are destroyed or uninhabitable a
lump sum of $2,358 in rental assistance, or $786 a
month for three months, with the possibility of a
15-month extension. So far, 330,000 families have
signed up for the housing assistance. But if evacuees
have to use those stipends to pay for hotel rooms when
FEMA stops covering such lodging, the funds will not
last long.

Last week, the number of evacuees in hotels increased
from 220,000 to more than 400,000 people, in 140,000
rooms. Many have no idea what they will do when the
program ends in two weeks.

Ronnie Ashworth, a truck driver from Chalmette, La.,
east of New Orleans, currently lives at the Baton
Rouge Marriott. If no other housing is forthcoming
after Oct. 15, "I'll be sleeping in the back of my
truck," Ashworth, 60, said. "I have no funds right
now."

Red Cross spokeswoman Carrie Martin said, "We're
administering the hotel program with the expectation
that it ends on October 15th. . . . After that, we'll
still have shelters open, but we definitely don't want
to move backwards."

Meanwhile, more than 100,000 people remain in about
1,000 shelters operated by the Red Cross, smaller
charities and churches, scattered across two dozen
states as far-flung as New York and Washington.

The Red Cross has said it will keep its shelters open
for as long as necessary, but many are in churches and
public buildings that are needed for their primary
functions. Hundreds of shelters have closed over the
past two weeks, and many of their occupants, the Red
Cross said, appear to be moving into hotels, in hopes
of benefiting from the hotel program in its final
days.

In search of temporary housing immediately after the
hurricane, FEMA officials went on a $1.5 billion
spending spree, buying out entire dealerships of
recreational vehicles and signing contracts for more
than $500 million with one manufacturer of mobile
homes. But the plan to create "cities" of 500 to 600
RVs across the South has run into major logistical and
political problems.

In FEMA lots in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and
Texas, several thousand trailers stand empty, waiting
for the agency to navigate land leases, zoning laws,
local opposition and policy questions.

"We have 12,000 mobile homes with no place to put
them," said Rosemarie Hunter, a FEMA spokeswoman in
Baton Rouge.

To date, only 1,396 trailers in Louisiana house
displaced people. About 1,100 are occupied by workers
engaged in New Orleans's recovery effort, and 173
house families left homeless by the storm.

Policymakers say that warehousing tens of thousands of
people in trailer park communities until New Orleans
and other cities are rebuilt could lead to the
creation of dysfunctional "FEMAvilles," as residents
of past encampments have called them. Democrats go
further, warning that they may become known as
"Bushvilles," just as Depression-era shantytowns were
called "Hoovervilles."

Refugee Council USA, which includes nine U.S.
resettlement agencies that have integrated 2.5 million
global refugees into the United States since 1975,
said storm victims would be better off getting on with
their lives -- finding housing, jobs and counseling
services in new communities rather than waiting
indefinitely for homes to be rebuilt.

FEMA officials agree. Evacuees, said FEMA spokesman
Eugene Kinerney, "need to consider long-term housing
in areas where there is available rental stock and
prospects for employment to take care of other needs,
such as food."

But some civic and political leaders worry that the
alternative -- resettling storm victims -- will lead
many to stay permanently in their host communities,
fundamentally changing the nature and politics of
Louisiana and possibly beyond.

FEMA initially estimated that the homes of 300,000
families were destroyed by Katrina and that 200,000 of
them will need government help with housing but said
only time would reveal the true scope of need. The
lack of an effective strategy to manage the largest
displaced population of Americans in at least 60 years
has touched off a furious policy debate.

"The big picture is . . . everyone who has some scheme
for how people should live is now living vicariously
through the opportunity New Orleans offers" of a blank
slate, said Ronald D. Utt, senior researcher at the
Heritage Foundation. "All this push and pull is
happening, and all of which can be lumped in with some
notion of social engineering."

Policy think tanks from the Brookings Institution on
the left to Heritage on the right have criticized FEMA
for relying on trailers as it traditionally does for
hurricane victims, saying Katrina's scale overwhelms
that solution. By contrast, they say vouchers provide
more choices to individuals, reduce the need for
building public housing and take advantage of existing
housing stock.

In a joint statement last week, Senate Minority Leader
Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy
Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized how long it took the Bush
administration to implement its voucher program. "It
wasn't until nearly one month after the disaster
struck that the Bush Administration finally announced
it would begin to provide rent payments to families
displaced by the storm," as Democrats urged, they
said. Under the FEMA housing assistance plan, families
that remain eligible can get as much as 18 months of
cash assistance for a maximum of $14,148, but the
money would count against a cap of $26,200 per family
that Congress has set for FEMA to give in cash, rental
assistance and home repairs.

Even before FEMA announced the program, Sen. Paul S.
Sarbanes (D-Md.) pushed a plan through the Senate last
month to provide $3.5 billion in housing vouchers to
350,000 Katrina-displaced families. On Friday,
Sarbanes called on Bush to transfer control of housing
assistance from FEMA to the Department of Housing and
Urban Development.

"The scope of this disaster calls for changes in how
we think about disaster assistance," Sarbanes wrote
the White House. "Hundreds of thousands of people may
need housing assistance for 18 months or even longer.
We cannot rely on FEMA, an emergency response agency,
to provide on-going housing assistance to this large
number of families," he said, citing HUD's
"experience, staff and infrastructure."

Staff writer Jacqueline L. Salmon contributed to this
report.

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/01/AR2005100101437.html

**********
Hurricane homelessness

Poverty, racism and homelessness from the Gulf Coast
to the Pacific Coast

by Dee Gray and Lisa Gray-Garcia

Poor News Network Poverty Scholars
Rev. James Lawson
Photo: PNN

How do you speak about the death and suffering of
thousands of Bay Area homeless children, youth, adults
and elders while thousands of other children, youth.
adults and elders from the Gulf Coast are suffering,
dying and forced into homelessness?

“Let’s look at the real root of poverty, racism and
the theft of resources from our communities, from our
educational systems. It’s called Plantation
Capitalism,? explained Rev. James Lawson, elder
statesmen of resistance and faith and one of the
original organizers of the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Click below for full story...

www.sfbayview.com/092805/homelessness092805.shtml


**********
Underwriting charity

Federal reimbursement of some faith-based disaster
relief is justified but needs to be closely managed.

Houston Chronicle
Sept. 28, 2005, 7:49PM

Religious organizations of all faiths have long been
essential to efforts to alleviate suffering in the
aftermath of natural disasters in the United States.
Up to now, those campaigns have been funded by
charitable contributions from congregation members as
well as the resources of the faith-based organizations
themselves.

In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Bush
administration has embarked on a course that could
permanently change the nature of nongovernment
disaster relief. This week Federal Emergency
Management Agency officials announced that religious
organizations would be eligible for payments from the
government if they operated relief facilities in
Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, which declared
emergencies during Hurricane Katrina. According to
FEMA guidelines, the government would cover rent,
supplies and even volunteer labor provided by private
groups.

In his conversation with the Chronicle editorial
board, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary
Alphonso Jackson said HUD likewise will reimburse
religious organizations for their efforts to provide
shelter for storm victims.

"We have never had a situation where faith-based
organizations have taken in so many evacuees, or so
many people have been displaced," Jackson said.

Both religious and secular officials have questioned
the decision to begin compensating charitable acts.
The president of the Southern Baptist Convention's
North American Mission Board, the Rev. Robert E.
Reccord, told The Washington Post "volunteer labor is
just that: volunteer. We would never ask the
government to pay for it."

Rev. Barry W. Lynn, the executive director of
Americans United for Separation of Church and State,
says "the truth is this administration has been trying
to give more and more money to churches with fewer and
fewer strings attached from literally the first month
they were in office." He claims FEMA is trying to
cover its own blunders by winning the favor of
religious groups.

Secretary Jackson said both he and President Bush
respect the separation of church and state, and HUD
will make sure the groups it compensates have not
pushed their religion on evacuees and have provided
legitimate assistance. Given the extraordinary human
needs generated by the disasters, this one-time
compensation program is demonstrably necessary. Many
Houston churches continue to shelter Louisiana
refugees and deserve compensation if they can provide
proper documentation of their expenses.

Houston Mayor Bill White supports federal compensation
for hurricane relief expenses by community groups,
both faith-based and secular. He says the extended
length of the emergency has stretched the capabilities
of some groups to the breaking point, and federal
assistance is necessary. The mayor cautions that tax
dollars must not be allowed to supplant the large
amount of disaster assistance provided by private
sources.

However justified in this instance, FEMA and HUD
funding for hurricane relief efforts by faith-based
groups must not evolve into a continuing federal
pipeline routing taxpayer dollars to religious
organizations. Disaster assistance must remain a
primary responsibility of government. Private
charitable acts in times of crisis should not be based
on the expectation of federal reimbursement.

www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/editorial/3374289


**********
Justice Department Obtains Over $1 Million Settlement
In Major Disability Discrimination Suit Involving 49
Apartment Complexes

9/30/2005 7:37:00 PM

To: National Desk

Contact: U.S. Department of Justice, 202-514-2007;
202-514-1888 (TDD); Web: WWW.USDOJ.GOV

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Justice
Department today announced a settlement agreement with
a developer and several architectural firms in
Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin,
Virginia, and Nebraska, resolving two lawsuits that
alleged disability related housing discrimination.
Under the agreement, the developer and architectural
firms have agreed to retrofit 49 apartment complexes
and pay $1,060,000.

Click below for full Press Release...

releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp


**********
Katrina stirs up housing wait list; Minneapolis and
St. Paul public housing agencies voted to give
priority to hurricane victims. They said it's the
right thing to do, but some locals disagree.

Rochelle Olson; Jackie Crosby; Staff Writers
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)
September 29, 2005

Minneapolis and St. Paul approved moving victims of
Hurricane Katrina to the top of their waiting lists
for public housing on Wednesday.

The moves followed a strong request from the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that
the preference be given to victims of the disaster.

The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority Board
approved the measure on a voice vote after some
discussion but no dissension. The priority will last
90 days from the date of the disaster declaration.
Officials estimated that about a month has passed.

St. Paul's seven-member Public Housing Authority voted
unanimously to offer priority to victims through Dec.
31.

Before the Minneapolis vote, the agency's executive
director, Cora McCorvey, recommended the action. "It
does really speak to the humanity in us," she said.
"Watching the devastation of the Gulf Coast, many of
us have been there ... and felt this was the right
thing to do."

But Bonnie Ball, who has been on the waiting list for
a housing subsidy in St. Paul for more than two years,
said that pushing the Katrina evacuees to the top of
the list isn't fair.

"I feel bad for these people," said Ball, an apartment
caretaker in Little Canada, "but I don't think it's
fair that they can jump ahead of people who have been
on the list for up to five years. They [the
government] should figure out another way to provide a
roof over their heads."

She said low-income people shouldn't be burdened.

"The government screwed up with Katrina," she said,
"and now they should take care of this [housing]
problem."

Click below for full story...

www.knowledgeplex.org/news/118309.html

**********
Katrina Evacuees Competing With Locals for Public
Housing

By Emily Gurnon
Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.
September 29, 2005

Public housing agencies in St. Paul and Minneapolis
may adopt policies today that would move Hurricane
Katrina victims to the top of lengthy waiting lists
for subsidized homes, delaying low-cost apartments for
more than 13,000 Twin Cities families.

Sharica Williams, a single mother from Brooklyn Park,
is among the public housing applicants who may be
asked to step aside for hurricane evacuees.

"As much as I want to help them, I'm not in a position
to help -- and I don't think taking from my child is
going to help them feel any better," said Williams,
24, who has a 6-year-old daughter.

The St. Paul Public Housing Agency board, which meets
this morning, would extend the preference only to
Hurricane Katrina victims. The Minneapolis agency
board, which meets this afternoon, would offer the
benefit to victims of other federally declared
disasters as well.

Click below for full story...

www.knowledgeplex.org/news/118158.html

**********
Housing help ready for Katrina victims

T. ROBIN TATE
Bulletin Staff Writer
Friday, September 30, 2005

The Northwest Regional Housing Authority has announced
that housing assistance is now available to evacuees
from Hurricane Katrina.

The agency serves Baxter, Boone, Madison, Marion,
Newton and Searcy counties.

HUD will provide money for rental assistance for up to
one year. It also will transfer rental assistance for
families who were receiving assistance or public
housing in disaster areas.

Ken McDowell, executive director of the agency, told
The Bulletinthis is funding in addition to regular
state housing assistance for Arkansas. The money is
through the Arkansas Development Finance Authority.

The assistance also will pay utility company deposits
and monthly bills. "This will vary depending on the
needs of the rental property," said McDowell. He
stated that utilities will include electricity, water
or natural or propane gas.

Furniture and other necessities also will be provided.
McDowell provided a breakdown of what will be provided
through vouchers. Furniture vouchers include $1,245
per bedroom, $739 for the kitchen, $271 per bathroom,
$1,311 for the living room and $331 for a television.

Other vouchers include:
* $88 for a telephone
* $50 hygiene allowance for toiletries
* $35 for food preparation or cookware
* $50 for small appliances
* $25 allowance for cleaning.
Although evacuees may call the office to ask for an
application packet, McDowell recommends that they come
to the office for quicker help.
The office is located at 114 Sisco Avenue in Harrison.
The phone number is (870) 741-5522.

Click below for full story...

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


**********
Evacuees get housing help

By Judith R. Tackett, jtackett (at) nashvillecitypaper.com
October 03, 2005

Katrina and Rita evacuees will be able to access
federal funding of up to $3,000 per family for
furniture and personal necessities and approximately
$1,200 per month for lease and utilities for interim
housing.

The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA)
is setting up a “store front? at its training center,
1419 Eighth Ave. North, and staffing it with personnel
from Metro, state and nonprofit agencies, MDHA
Executive Director Phil Ryan said.

The lead agency to coordinate the Federal Emergency
Management Agency’s (FEMA) interim housing program in
this area is the Mid-Cumberland Community Services
Agency. Its executive director, Beverly Bass, said
starting today her agency will have about six case
workers at the MDHA location on Eighth Avenue to
assist families individually.

Bass said eventually all evacuees would have to be
registered through FEMA to receive the housing and
furnishing assistance.

All the assistance delivered through FEMA has to be
paid for directly by the community services agencies.
Otherwise, the state will not receive federal
reimbursement.

Bass said the only problem area they are still dealing
with is that FEMA won’t pay for deposits on rental
units.

Click below for full story...

www.nashvillecitypaper.com/index.cfm

**********
Utah poor will suffer from U.S. budget cut
Block grants: Money for the Community Action Programs
will drop by half when the federal budget goes into
effect Saturday

By Kirsten Stewart
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 09/30/2005 02:03:33 AM

Utah's nine Community Action Programs stand to lose
almost half a million dollars over the next three
months under a temporary budget approved by the U.S.
Congress - a devastating blow to the anti-poverty
movement, say advocates for the poor.

The 50 percent cut in the Community Services Block
Grants (CSBG) that fund the programs nationally is
temporary; lawmakers could restore the money when they
approve the final budget, possibly in December or
January. Or they might not.

In Utah, the losses that take effect Saturday are
already forcing layoffs, a scale back in food pantry
operating hours and the suspension of meal deliveries
to thousands of families in crisis.

Click below for full story...

www.sltrib.com/ci_3074423

**********
Mission Director Frustrated By Evacuee Policy
Open Door Mission Flooded With Evacuees

UPDATED: 10:03 pm CDT October 2, 2005

OMAHA, Neb. -- The CEO of Omaha's Open Door Mission is
frustrated that the mission is helping evacuees who
have been turned away by the Omaha Housing Authority.

Planes delivered 166 evacuees from Hurricane Katrina
to Omaha two weeks ago. OHA said it would help those
people find temporary housing. But certain offenses on
an evacuee's criminal record can make him or her
ineligible for public housing.

Many who have been turned away by OHA have headed to
the Open Door Mission, which is already crowded.

"We've had about 50 over the last two to three weeks,"
said the Open Door Mission's Candace Gregory. "It's
frustrating that we have all of this housing
available, that's public housing. I wish it was
available to everyone."

OHA Executive Director Brad Ashford said those
failures relate primarily to criminal history.

Click below for full story...
www.theomahachannel.com/news/5038629/detail.html


**********
A Flood of Money
In the Gulf, a gold rush for government funds

By Angie C. Marek 10/10/05

There's a price for luxury. Just ask the Federal
Emergency Management Agency. On September 1, when FEMA
officials thought they would have thousands of
evacuees from Hurricane Katrina to house and feed,
along with hundreds of emergency workers, the disaster
management agency signed a no-bid contract with the
Carnival Corp., owners of a fleet of luxe cruise
ships. The deal: The feds would get three ships,
Holiday, Ecstasy, and Sensation, with food included,
all for a cool $236 million for six months.

But now watchdog groups are howling. The cost, they
say, is astronomical, and a census last week showed
that more than half the slots on the ships were
vacant.

Click below for full story...

www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/051010/10hurricane.htm




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