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Jackson Calls for Housing Extension

November 20, 2005|From Reuters

NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. government must extend its Dec. 1 deadline to stop paying hotel bills for many victims of Hurricane Katrina and come up with a plan for people to return home, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday.

In an open letter to President Bush, the Democratic activist said the eviction order was not the "help" the president had promised.

"This latest action by FEMA will leave thousands of displaced families homeless," he said. "It will make a disaster out of the disaster relief efforts."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday that it would stop paying for hotels for many refugees, who are scattered across the country, starting Dec. 1. The deadline prompted outrage from people who will have to look for new housing during the Thanksgiving holiday.

The rules will not apply to hurricane victims still living in Louisiana and Mississippi, because alternative housing is not available, FEMA said.

Jackson said some evacuees could be housed in unused military bases near New Orleans.

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