Lubbock at one point had 381 Katrina hurricane survivors from New Orleans living in 189 apartments. That number has dwindled down to at least 73 people. A majority of those people are living on their own in public housing, but 19 others are on the verge of loosing a roof over their heads.
As of June 30th, the City of Lubbock will no longer pay their rent, because FEMA will stop the reimbursements. Lubbock Community Development Director Bill Howerton says that is going to leave 19 people in a bind. Those 19 have been declined by both FEMA and public housing to pay for a place to stay. "What's going to happen to them come June 30th?" asked NewsChannel 11. "We're trying to figure out something for them," said Howerton.
Meanwhile, some local apartments are still cleaning up the mess some of the survivors left behind like kicked in doors and burned counter tops. "We found holes in walls, carpets extremely dirty. Things that can be fixed, but some folks didn't take good care of what they were given. For the majority, they took care of their living space and took pride. It was just a handful we had problems with," said Howerton.
He says the city filed insurance claims to pay for the damages at those apartments. FEMA has reimbursed the city for those costs. Managers from four of the apartments we visited Tuesday told us the survivors who will continue to live in Lubbock, qualified for Section 8 housing. Section 8 provides rental assistance to low-income families, elderly, and disabled individuals.
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