FEMA–You’re Still Doing A Heck Of A Job

From Scout:

First may I take a moment to thank Athenae for inviting me to guestblog. I am honored to have the opportunity but I will never fill Athenae’s shoes as she is one of the best writers on all the internets. So I ‘ll do my thing and hope you like it. One area I’ve posted on a great deal at my blog has been post Katrina issues. Here is another….

Even without Brownie FEMA continues to excell at screwing up…….

In the shelters and other makeshift evacuee communities around the South, Colorado Springs earned a reputation as a community where people could find help. Volunteers running buses spread the offers of free rent.

When they arrived at the local disaster recovery center, the offer became a guarantee. Of the 425 families who got rental assistance, 364 signed 12-month leases, expecting they’d receive aid for the duration, said Bret Waters, director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management.

The rent was to be passed from FEMA to the city to the landlords. Only the rent through October has been paid, and the city this week gave residents a letter stating “after Feb. 28, 2006, you will be responsible for paying your own rent and utilities.”

Colorado Springs City Councilman Richard Skorman, who helped organize relief for evacuees, said he is “frustrated beyond words” by FEMA.

“People went through a horrendous crisis. They lost everything. The federal government made promises, and now they’re reneging on them,” Skorman said.

“Never was there a hint they were going to come back a couple months later and say, ‘We’re going to change.’ Never.”

A public meeting is scheduled Wednesday to address residents’ concerns. As of Friday, evacuees interviewed said they weren’t getting answers from FEMA.

FEMA says they are reclassifying people from public to individual assistance. Under the latter people must apply to FEMA, prove need and be able to prove they lost their primary home. Problem is many can not prove this as they rented apartments that in many cases are inaccessible to inspectors. “A FEMA rep said not everyone receiving rent — 1,340 evacuee families across the state[CO] — will qualify for individual assistance, but he expects “the majority” will.”

Mmmmm should we believe them THIS time? And is that a “majority” as in “mandate”…..51%?

BTW Sen. Susan Collins chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee which has oversight of FEMA. Her office number is 202-224-2523 in case you’d like to have a chat about the heck of a job FEMA is doing.