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Know Your Rights: What to do About Housing After Hurricane Katrina
Produced by Louisiana Legal Services
Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief
Organization: ABA Section of Taxation
Information for those affected, on how other taxpayers can help, and related tips for tax practitioners.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance Extended For Additional
Release Date: March 14, 2006
Release Number: 1603-397
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Louisiana residents and displaced evacuees who are unemployed because of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have been granted an additional 13 weeks to receive disaster unemployment assistance (DUA).
On March 6, President Bush signed Bill 1777, which extends the benefit period for nearly 400,000 individuals nationwide to continue to receive DUA payments.
Benefits for individuals who were affected by Hurricane Katrina are extended to June 4th and Hurricane Rita affected individuals until June 24th.
The DUA program extends income compensation to people who would normally be ineligible for unemployment compensation such as farmers and self-employed individuals who are out of work as a result of a disaster.
To date, $129.2 million have been approved for Hurricane Katrina applicants and $3.1 million has been approved for those left without income due to Hurricane Rita.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003
Last Updated: Tuesday, 14-Mar-2006 08:58:43
Katrina and Rita Application Registration Deadline
Extended To April 10
Release Date: March 10, 2006
Release Number: 1603-394
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- To ensure all victims are able to register for assistance, David Paulison, Acting Director of the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), today announced that the deadline for registering for assistance as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas has been extended 30 days to April 10, 2006.
Homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage from the hurricanes can apply by calling the FEMA registration number, 800-621-FEMA (3362); TTY 800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired, or online at www.fema.gov.
Applicants may qualify for help under a wide range of federal and state programs such as temporary disaster housing assistance; SBA low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses; and assistance for disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
To date, FEMA has received more than 2.6 million applications for assistance from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita victims.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.
Last Updated: Monday, 13-Mar-2006 08:13:07
Katrina Legislation Tracking
Organization: National Economic and Social Rights Initiative Document
Katrina Legislation Tracking is a collaborative effort to distribute Katrina-related policy news from a streamlined source. Katrina Legislation Tracking is a partnership effort between the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, the Katrina Information Network, the Praxis Project, the Brennan Center for Justice, the Partnership for Working Families, Law Students for Human Rights at NYU School of Law and a growing number of progressive organizations.
Video to Educate Hurricane Survivors on Insurance Issues is Now Available
Organization: Gilbert Heintz & Randolph LLP
Submission Date: 02/28/2006
As a part of their Katrina-related pro bono efforts, Gilbert Heintz & Randolph LLP has produced a DVD to educate homeowners and small business owners about insurance coverage issues. The DVD contains an 18-minute video on homeowner insurance issues, as well as a 13-minute video on small business owner insurance issues. Gilbert Heintz & Randolph LLP is making copies of these DVDs available for free to nonprofit organizations and other groups working to help those impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
On February 17, 2006,
Katrina evacuees filed a class action suit in Federal District Court in New
Orleans to challenge FEMA's failure to provide accessible temporary housing for
people with disabilities. Housing provided by FEMA has often come in the form of
inaccessible trailers which lack wheelchair ramps, grab bars in the bathroom,
wheelchair maneuvering room, and generally cannot be used by persons with
disabilities. The case was related to the McWaters v. FEMA matter.
A hearing has been set for March 2 in Judge Duval's court. More information is in a press release <http://www.femaanswers.org/images/6/66/Brou_v_FEMA_press_-2pdf> and the complaint <http://www.femaanswers.org/images/5/5b/Brou_v_FEMA_complaint.pdf>, available at www.FEMAanswers.org<http://www.femaanswers.org/.
The Welfare Law Center, Advocacy Center (of Louisiana), Mississippi Center for Justice, and The Public Interest Law Project (California) filed Brou v. FEMA, a federal class action in the Eastern District of Louisiana challenging FEMA's failure to provide accessible trailers and/or other housing assistance to persons with disabilities who were rendered homeless by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Tens of thousands of persons in the Gulf region still are without permanent, or even adequate temporary, housing. One of the solutions FEMA has offered has been to provide mobile homes or trailers for temporary use.
Unfortunately, despite the wide-spread prevalence of persons with disabilities in the population of evacuees, FEMA has not provided people with disabilities with trailers that are physically accessible for them.
Some evacuees who have requested accessible trailers are still waiting for trailers; others have been given inaccessible trailers and told that they will be replaced with accessible trailers or modified to be accessible at a later date, which has not occurred; and others have been provided with trailers that FEMA claims are accessible or "ADA friendly" that have many inaccessible features. As a result, many people with disabilities cannot enter or exist their trailers, bathe, cook, use the toilet, get in and out of bed, and engage in other activities of daily living at all, or safely and independently. Some wheelchair users cannot even turn around in the trailers they have been provided because there is so little space.
The lawsuit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief requiring FEMA to: provide the class with accessible trailers, create a system in which FEMA ascertains the needs of evacuees with disabilities who seek housing assistance and meets those needs, engage in monitoring, and seeks other relief.
For further information, contact Cary LaCheen at the Welfare Law Center, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Table of Deadlines for Government Programs
Date: 02/14/2006 Organization: Legal Services Corporation Document
Louisiana Supreme Court Issues Supplemental Emergency Pro Bono Civil Legal Assistance Rule
Organization: Louisiana Supreme Court
On January 20, 2006, the Supreme Court of Louisiana issued an Order promulgating a supplemental emergency pro bono civil legal assistance rule to permit non-admitted lawyers to render temporary pro bono civil legal services to victims of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.
The Order expands the legal services providers and lawyer-supervised pro bono agencies through which pro bono services may be rendered to:
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation Acadiana Legal Services Corporation Capital Area Legal Services Corporation Legal Services of North Louisiana, Inc. Southwest Louisiana Legal Services Society, Inc.; and The Pro Bono Project (New Orleans) The rule will remain in effect for one year.
View the entire Order which includes information regarding application for a limited certification of pro bono practice in Louisiana. Here is the Application for Out-Of-State Attorneys Seeking to Render Pro Bono Assistance.
Know Your Rights: Jobless Benefits After Katrina
Author: Rowena Jones at email@example.com
Organization: Disaster Legal Project of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services
WPD | PDF
One (1) page flyer updated (Feb. 06) with information for Louisiana claimants on how to get increase in Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), potential eligibility for Extended Benefits when regular benefits end; where to look for legal help; overpayment waivers; etc.
Hurricane Katrina Recovery Resources from Rural Development
To all USDA Rural Development customers affected by Hurricane Katrina, we know this is a difficult time. Please call us for help -- we can help people with damaged homes that need rehabilitation and repair. We can also help you manage payments on existing loans or get new loans for needed repairs.
Residents living in Rural Development-financed apartments who have been displaced are qualified to receive priority admission to any of our vacant apartment units in the U.S. Please contact us so that we can help you get shelter.
Call: 1-800-414-1226 (toll-free)
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Race, Color or National
Origin: Hurricane-Related Issues
Author: Wan Kim
Organization: US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division Document
Type: Legal memo from the US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, focusing particularly on LEP (limited English proficiency) issues
Hotel Authorization Code Program
Hotel Program for States Sheltering Hurricane Katrina and Rita Evacuee
Release Date: January 9,
Release Number: HQ-06-008Factsheet
Important Hotel Program Dates:
For more information about FEMA’s ongoing housing efforts, call the FEMA News Desk at (202) 646-4600.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program.
KATRINA EVACUEES IN FLORIDA: Do You Know About EMERGENCY CASH ASSISTANCE?
February 15, 2006
The Post-Katrina Legal Cleanup
When Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast in late August, the storm devastated the region's legal system along with everything else. As the attorneys and people of the region continue to sort out the legal system months after the hurricane, their efforts are likely to make new law not only along the Gulf Coast but for the rest of the country. The ABA Journal article and accompanying teleconference will look at specific legal issues facing businesses and individuals in the regions hit by Katrina, Rita and subsequent storms, and how lawyers are seeking to help resolve them.
Sponsored by: Young Lawyers Division; Health Law Section; Section of Environment, Energy and Resources; Section of State and Local Government Law; Section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law; ABA Journal; and ABA-CLE.
Judge Orders Extension of FEMA Hotel Plan to February 7th
"A federal judge ruled Monday that a program that is putting tens of thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees up in hotels must be extended until Feb. 7 -- a month beyond the cutoff date set by FEMA." http://www.katrinalegalaid.org/link.cfm?4717
Mississippi's Project Recovery Available To All Affected By Hurricane Katrina Project Recovery, funded by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and facilitated with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will provide crisis counseling services to anyone affected directly or indirectly by Hurricane Katrina. The Project Recovery Helpline has been established and is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-866-856-3227. http://www.katrinalegalaid.org/link.cfm?4719
Tips for Helping School-Age Children After Disasters
A spreadsheet of reactions, responses, and examples of things to do and say to help your child after a disaster. http://www.katrinalegalaid.org/link.cfm?4720 (PDF)
HUD Announces Mortgage Assistance for Disaster Victims
Under the Mortgage Assistance Initiative, HUD will make mortgage payments for up to one year for disaster victims with FHA-insured mortgages who want to start living in their homes again. This assistance is available to FHA homeowners who: Have a property that is damaged by the hurricanes but can be rebuilt given adequate time; have access to funds from insurance proceeds, loans or personal resources to complete the repairs; and are currently employed or are very likely to return to work within a short period of time. HUD is asking lenders to contact as many families as possible that may be eligible for this special assistance. FHA homebuyers can also contact their lender or HUD's National Servicing Center at: 1 (888) 297-8685. http://www.katrinalegalaid.org/link.cfm?4653
Important Information For Louisiana Evacuees Seeking FEMA Assistance Some Louisiana residents who were affected by Hurricane Katrina and chose to evacuate to Texas should be aware that the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is planning to provide assistance to eligible applicants based on damage information obtained through satellite images. These images provide geospatial mapping data as to the depth of water in a particular area. The maps can also view the location and condition of individual homes by zip code. http://www.katrinalegalaid.org/link.cfm?4721
For Legal Aid & Defender Programs:
FEMA Changes its Position on the Shared Household Rule
Some extended families may not be receiving all the aid they are eligible for because they are living together temporarily and have applied from the same address. These applications may be considered to be duplicates. However, the burden is on each head of household or roommate to call the FEMA Help Line and ask for the applications to be unlinked. FEMA will not be sending notices to those affected by this rule explaining what they should do. http://www.katrinalegalaid.org/link.cfm?4598
Louisiana Evacuees Qualify for a Boost in Jobless Benefits "Thousands of Louisiana families left jobless as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita may qualify for additional jobless benefits, including up to 13 more weeks of assistance or a significant increase in their weekly benefits." http://www.katrinalegalaid.org/link.cfm?4599
The Kaiser Commission Fact Sheet on Medicaid Waivers
The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured has published a fact sheet summarizing and comparing ten states' approved Medicaid waivers related to Hurricane Katrina evacuees.
For Legal Aid & Defender Programs: Information and links arranged by substantive categories and issue areas, for those representing disaster victims.
For Pro Bono Volunteers: Assistance for private lawyers who want to help and resources for volunteers who are helping
For People Who Need Help: State by state links to help you find a legal aid or pro bono lawyer, and other information for those affected by Hurricane Katrina in these areas: housing, insurance, health, financial aid and general.
Evacuees Should Use FEMA Rental Assistance To Pay Rent
WHAT FEMA PROGRAM PROVIDE TO INDIVIDIALS AFFECTED BY DISASTER, a comprehensive overview of FEMA's Individuals and Households Program (IHP), prepared by Ande Miller, NVOAD and Mary Richards, FEMA
Help Is On The Line - Phone Assistance
Benefits for Hurricane Katrina Survivors: Training for Legal Services & Pro Bono Attorneys in Louisiana
Quick Links to federal and State Information and Data About Katrina
Short-Term Emergency Cash Assistance Diversion Program for Residents of Gulf and Franklin Counties - Hurricanes Dennis and/or Katrina Assistance
The Florida CARES initiative –Coordinated Assistance to Resume Educational Studies
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law Disaster Assistance Resources
Louisiana Evacuees Qualify for a Boost in Jobless
While Emergency Orders Expire Now Requiring Weekly
Job-Search Reporting by 300,000 Jobless Workers
Disaster Unemployment Assistance:
How Families Can Access the Program After Hurricanes Katrina & Rita
Health and Human Services - Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina Recovery - Information for Hurricane Katrina Evacuees
DCF Responds to Katrina Evacuees With Hot Food Access
Important Way to Get Food
Hurricane Katrina Relief Resources
Agency for Health Care Administration Acts to Provide Care for Hurricane Katrina Evacuees
HurricaneHousing.org - Hurricane Katrina Housing and Disaster Relief Help
Child Care is an Essential Part of Katrina Recovery Efforts
Emergency Cash Assistance Program for Evacuees (ECA)
The Disaster Legal Project of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services is now open for client referrals on disaster-related problems; as a clearinghouse for questions on Louisiana law on any issue from advocates in other states who are approached by displaced southeast Louisiana residents; and as a resource for the public and legal community seeking to connect clients with their Louisiana advocates. Disaster Legal Project, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, 720 Travis Street, Shreveport, LA, 71101. Phone: (318) 222-7186, ext. 243; Toll-Free: (877) 521-6242; Fax: (318) 221-1901
Florida Hurricane Relief Fund
Together we will rise and rebuild
With Floridians still recovering from the 2004 hurricane season -- and new hurricanes hitting the state in this 2005 season -- insurance, government and relief organizations are not equipped to cover all of the needs of Floridians impacted by these storms. Florida Governor Jeb Bush has established the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund to meet the growing recovery needs of Floridians impacted by these devastating storms.
The mission of the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund is to raise funds to help Floridians with recovery through strengthening families and rebuilding communities.
Goals of the Relief Fund
MAKE RECOVERY DOLLARS STRETCH – by providing needed financial assistance where insurance and government help leaves off
Key recovery assistance will help Floridians and their communities. Funds may be used to help rebuild roofs, repair homes, provide child care assistance, assist nonprofits to rebuild, and much more.