48ºF

Greenspoint flood victims reach end of city-paid temporary housing

HOUSTON – Weeks after Houston's historic flooding, some of the people hit the hardest have reached the deadline for temporary housing paid for by the city of Houston.

The city ended payments for hotel rooms for roughly 180 residents around Greenspoint on Friday, transitioning efforts to "long-term needs," said Mayor Sylvester Turner, in a statement.

"FEMA is now here and financial assistance is available to those who register," said Turner.

Chewana Oliver stood outside the Park Inn waiting with her belongings and 1-month-old daughter.

"We don't have nowhere to go," Oliver said, hoping for answers as to where she would be housed.

The problem is a complicated one. The city stopped paying for hotel rooms for those in Greenspoint who were flooded out on Tax Day. The mayor's flood fund footed the bill for temporary housing the past three weeks. The city is asking those who need help to register with FEMA.

Bill Kelly is Mayor Turner's Director of Government Relations. He spent Friday morning helping residents, like Oliver, speak with representatives from FEMA.

Kelly said the relocation process can be tough. Sometimes, he said, qualifying for assistance requires being denied for other programs. Kelly also said some residents living in temporary housing are not on the lease of the apartment in question.

"It can be real difficult particularly for people who aren't on leases. We're running into that. I know our department of housing has stepped up consulting with them on what to do," Kelly said.

"I have mold in my apartment," Chewana Oliver said, as she spoke about the damage in her apartment.

Chewana Oliver met with FEMA late Friday.

She said she was awarded an apartment with help from FEMA.