Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Katrina II: Judge Slams Bush Admin, Orders Resumption of Payments

The Bush administration must resume housing payments for thousands of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon's ripped the Federal Emergency Management Agency for illegally cutting housing funding and subjecting storm victims to a convoluted application process he called "Kafkaesque."

In the Washington case, Leon said FEMA mishandled the transition from a short-term housing program to a longer-term program this spring and summer.

Until FEMA explains itself and allows victims to appeal, Leon said the government must keep making housing payments.

"It is unfortunate, if not incredible, that FEMA and its counsel could not devise a sufficient notice system to spare these beleaguered evacuees the added burden of federal litigation to vindicate their constitutional rights," Leon wrote in his ruling.

You can find the Memorandum Opinion here.