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URGENT: McWaters v. FEMA Call for Information

Thursday, February 09, 2006

  • National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
  • Source: Katrina (Decommissioned)

We need your immediate help in providing us with information about Katrina evacuees who are experiencing certain problems with FEMA's housing assistance program. The federal court in New Orleans has set a trial date on February 23-24, 2006 in McWaters v. FEMA. By this Friday, February 10, 2006, we must present to the court a description of the claims and class representatives we plan to present at trial, including a description of the types of problems evacuees are still confronting. Plaintiffs' counsel in the litigation include the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, The Public Interest Law Project, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, and John Pierre, Esq. We would greatly appreciate your sharing as soon as possible any information you have regarding Katrina evacuees/victims:

(1) Whose FEMA applications were denied because, they had shared housing before Katrina but were living separately after Katrina, and another member of the original household (who is now living separately) applied first for FEMA benefits;

(2) Who received the $2,358 payment, seek continuing housing assistance, and need an upward adjustment in their rental assistance because (a) they live in a relatively high housing cost area such as New Orleans, Los Angeles or Houston, or (b) their household size requires more than two bedrooms, or (c) both;

(3) Who have received or will receive the $2,358 payment but need to use part of the payment to cover utility costs (which FEMA has prohibited them from doing);

(4) To whom FEMA has denied continuing housing assistance, or has failed to provide continuing assistance after the initial $2358 payment;

(5) Whose applications for housing assistance are still pending and have been pending for more than one month; and

(6) Whose applications for housing assistance were denied because they had not completed an application for a Small Business Administration loan.

The victims may be residing anywhere in the country, but they must be victims of Katrina.

If you know individuals whose claims fit into these six categories, please contact (or have them contact) us as soon as possible.

Please try not to refer people who have claims other than those listed -- we're sorry, but we do not have the resources to address all of the problems arising from Katrina. Our contact info is:

Terri Keeley
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

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