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Federal judge orders FEMA to resume Katrina housing payments

[JURIST] US District Judge Richard J. Leon [official profile] ruled [opinion, PDF; order, PDF] in Washington, DC, Wednesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) [official website] must reinstate certain housing payments for victims of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. Leon granted the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction against the payments stoppage, maintaining that FEMA had failed to provide evacuees with adequate explanations for their denials of housing assistance and their means of appeal under the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act [text]. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) [advocacy website] filed the lawsuit on behalf of displaced hurricane evacuees alleging violations of their due process rights.

FEMA responded [press release] Wednesday by defending its policies and saying it will consult with the US Department of Homeland Security [official website] and US Department of Justice [official website] to determine a formal response to the district court's ruling. FEMA still faces several other suits [JURIST news archive] relating to its termination or withdrawal or housing benefits to Katrina victims. AP has more.

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