NEW ORLEANS - January 18 - ACORN chapters in six cities across the south are staging a “State of the Gulf Coast’’ press conference Thursday through Monday to call on FEMA to extend housing assistance for victims of the country’s worst-ever natural disaster.
Events are scheduled for Thursday in Dallas, Saturday in Atlanta and Monday in New Orleans, Houston, Little Rock, Ark., and Jackson, Miss. FEMA is scheduled to end housing assistance on Feb. 28 for about 110,000 families residing in FEMA-funded trailers, mobile homes or rental units. ACORN is asking FEMA for an 18-month extension.
“We have to have an extension,’’ said Toni McElroy, ACORN Texas state chair in Houston. “It’s the only fair and humanitarian way of dealing with this crisis. The alternative is leaving thousands of families homeless across the south.’’
In November, a federal judge ruled in favor of ACORN and ordered FEMA to issue legible notices to Katrina evacuees on why their assistance is being denied, and provide a clear procedure for people to appeal FEMA’s decision.
Federal law provides for 18 months of FEMA housing assistance after a natural disaster, but the federal agency has granted extensions in the past to Florida residents and others.