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National Briefing / Texas

FEMA says 90% ineligible for help

February 09, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied nearly 650,000 applications for housing aid after Hurricane Ike hit southeast Texas, finding that nearly 90% of all claimants were ineligible for FEMA help.

Those rejected and their attorneys say the inspectors are unqualified or poorly trained, and the inspection system is flawed in ways that withhold help from deserving people. FEMA says the numbers reflect a misunderstanding of the agency's mission.

The Houston Chronicle reported that FEMA has received more than 730,000 applications for help with home repairs, mobile homes or other housing services needed after Ike caused widespread damage in September.

So far, FEMA has paid out about $371 million to 82,000 applicants.

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