Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

THE NATION

Free Housing for Victims of Katrina Went Unclaimed

November 19, 2005|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — One of the nation's largest home lenders offered 1,500 housing units for Hurricane Katrina evacuees, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency has failed to put families into any of them, a Democratic congressman said Friday.

Responding to concerns raised by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), mortgage lender Fannie Mae confirmed that it had offered the housing units -- rent-free for up to 18 months -- to FEMA two months ago.

The report comes as FEMA prepares to stop paying hotel bills for an estimated 53,000 families who lost their homes.

"The department's failure to act expeditiously in this matter represents yet another lost opportunity to make things right for the people of the Gulf Coast," Thompson said.

FEMA housing spokesman James McIntyre acknowledged that the agency had not put any storm victims in the housing, citing disagreements with the lender over some conditions.

Fannie Mae spokesman Brian Faith said the mortgage company offered the housing units not only to FEMA but also to state agencies, charities and other relief groups seeking temporary homes for evacuees.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|