Thursday, November 15, 2012
FEMA can't handle housing displaced victims
From Eyewitness News:
There is little to no temporary housing for thousands of people who can't live in their homes after Sandy.
While FEMA has approved thousands of people for rental assistance, the supply of available apartments does not come close to matching the demand.
And, 15 days into this recovery, the agency that stumbled so badly during Katrina is still without a concrete housing plan.
FEMA's slow housing response in the aftermath of Sandy was forewarned in this Congressional investigation following Katrina.
It faulted FEMA for lacking ''clear guidance on specific temporary housing options" and warned that without those guidelines, future "disaster victims (would be) at risk of not receiving temporary housing as quickly as possible."
"We concluded that they had not fully implemented our recommendations," said Dan Garcia-Diaz, of the Government Accountability Office.
The head of that 2009 investigation says FEMA has yet to come up with the temporary housing guidelines.
"To the extent that those recommendations have not been implemented and incorporated into their operations, certainly FEMA will experience challenges," Garcia-Diaz said.
Sure enough, 15 days into the recovery, FEMA still seems to have few solutions to finding temporary housing for tens of thousands of storm victims, especially in Staten Island.