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FEMA to appeal court order reinstating Katrina housing assistance

[JURIST] The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) [official website] said Tuesday that it will appeal a November ruling [PDF text; order, PDF; JURIST report] ordering the agency to reinstate certain housing payments for victims of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] due to FEMA's failure to clearly explain to evacuees why they were denied housing assistance under the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act [text]. US District Judge Richard J. Leon found that FEMA had violated the constitutional due process rights of certain evacuees by failing to provide adequate, written notice of housing denials, and by failing to restore temporary housing assistance until the exhaustion of the administrative appeals process.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) [advocacy website], which brought the suit on behalf of the plaintiffs, filed court papers Tuesday indicating that FEMA has yet to disclose when or how they intend to restart the temporary housing program, as ordered by the district court. It is unclear whether FEMA will petition for temporary relief from the order pending appeal of the decision to the US Circuit Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit. AP has more.

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