Harvey victims say FEMA hotel program plagued by confusion

Two Texans displaced by Harvey who say they were kicked off the hotel assistance program are confused by FEMA's explanation — or lack of one.

News Story (Texas)

Giulia Afiune
Texas Tribune
December 18, 2017

Tags: Disaster Recovery

Organizations mentioned/involved: Texas Low Income Housing Information Service (TxLIHIS), Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)


Tracy Figueroa, an attorney who heads the disaster response team at the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, agrees, adding that in previous disasters she has seen FEMA using rules that weren’t available to the public or even to the attorneys helping disaster victims.

“There are unpublished rules that FEMA uses internally to make some of these decisions,” Figueroa said. “If they were transparent, there would be less confusion for people.”

Disaster victims can check the status of their assistance application on FEMA’s website, but frequently it will only say when they were deemed eligible for the hotel program, not whether  the benefit was extended or canceled.