FEMA Disaster Housing and Hurricane Katrina: Overview, Analysis, and Congressional Issues [Updated June 26, 2008]   [open pdf - 245KB]

This Congressional Research Service (CRS) report is an update to a report of the same name that discusses the issue of FEMA Disaster Housing and Hurricane Katrina. "In the past, FEMA's approaches have turned on practical and theoretical considerations. Practical considerations include the agency's ability to house families and individuals within a short time frame and in proximity to the original disaster, and in the case of Hurricane Katrina, to make contact with the hundreds of thousands of applicants who registered for assistance. Some of the theoretical policy considerations include questions of equity, self-reliance, federalism, and the duration of federal assistance. Those considerations have led to process questions concerning program stewardship and the potential for waste, fraud, and abuse of federal resources. The Post-Katrina Act Emergency Management Reform Act, enacted in October of 2006 (P.L. 109-295), changed FEMA housing policy to provide the President with greater flexibility for meeting the challenges of disasters on a large scale. Future debate on the housing issue may also be affected by the report on the National Disaster Housing Strategy (as directed in P.L. 109-295) that was due to Congress in 2007, but is not yet completed. Legislation in the 110th Congress, such as S. 2386, which restores the Mortgage/Rental Assistance program, demonstrates ongoing Congressional interest in programs that augment existing housing assistance. Also, legislation (S. 2382) that would mandate that the FEMA Administrator assess the need for manufactured housing units and develop a strategy to optimize their use and disposal of those not needed."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL34087
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