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Report: Government overspent on temporary housing after hurricane

Public policy group recommends improved rental voucher program

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The federal government, which has already allocated an estimated $7.15 billion to pay for temporary and longer-term housing for families displaced by Hurricane Katrina, would have saved a "significant" amount of money if it had quickly acted to provide low-income displaced families with 12-month to 18-month vouchers to move into rental housing, according to a report by a public policy research organization. In its report, "Housing Families Displaced by Katrina: A Review of the Federal Response to Date," The Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program recommends "a more cost-effective and human approach to the remaining housing needs of families," including the expansion of a Section 8 voucher program to help displaced families find longer-term housing solutions and a more streamlined use of trailer park communities to house construction workers and displaced families. Months after Hurricane Katrina, an estimated 500,000 displaced families are living in rental housing or pre...