Thousands of rental units have yet to be restored, and not a single one of 500 planned "Katrina cottages" has been completed and occupied. The Road Home program for single-family homeowners, which has cost federal taxpayers $7.9 billion, has a new contractor who is struggling to review a host of appeals, and workers who assist the homeless are finding more elderly people squatting in abandoned buildings.
Nonetheless, FEMA wants its trailers back, even though it plans to scrap or sell them for a fraction of what it paid for them.
"All I can say is that this is a temporary program, it was always intended as a temporary program, and at a certain point all temporary programs must end," said Brent Colburn, the agency's director of external affairs. He said there would be no extensions. . .
Progress on renovations has been slow for many reasons: contractors who did shoddy work or simply absconded with money, baffling red tape and rule changes, and inadequate grants. The opening of new rental units began to accelerate this year, but many projects have been stymied by the recession.