At a congressional hearing of two House subcommittees Wednesday, officials from FEMA and HUD failed to satisfy congressional critics about their efforts to find housing for 22,000 Katrina victims still living in trailers nearly three years after the storm.
House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank, D-Mass., who attended the hearing, was incensed HUD and FEMA have not resolved a dispute over funding affordable housing. And House Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said lawmakers should tie strings to federal funds to prevent the diversion of housing funds to other uses, such as Mississippi’s decision to spend $600 million in Housing and Urban Development funding on port improvements in Gulfport.
“We should not send money for one purpose and allow federal government officials to allow a local official to change it,” Thompson said. “While I agree that expanding the port will benefit the Gulf’s economy, I have serious doubts as to whether the new port workers are going to have anywhere to live.”