HOUSTON, TX - Even as hotel vouchers have been handed out, many are having trouble finding a room. FEMA is issuing vouchers which allow flood victims to get a free hotel room, but not everyone has been able to find a hotel that accepts the vouchers.
"The water level was up to here." Tiffany Powell's home flooded. She was rescued, taken to a shelter. At the shelter, FEMA gave her a voucher for a month's free hotel stay. "I immediately started looking for hotels." She found a couple on the list, and she just needed to get to them. "We got a ride. Someone picked us up and drove us to the hotel, and that's when it was disaster."
As if the disaster of harvey wasn't enough, Tiffany said the disaster was when the hotel she went to would not accept her FEMA voucher. This has been happening all over our area. FEMA representatives say hotels are not obligated to participate. If they are participating, they don't have to offer every vacant room to a storm survivor as Tiffany found out. "There are some hotels that said they had rooms, of course, and then when I said 'Do you accept FEMA? They're saying no."
Tiffany went to 12 hotels and couldn't find a room. Some of the hotels she went to she said were on FEMA's list. FEMA says their web site is updated regularly and shows hotels participating, but it doesn't mean those hotels have vacancies or are "accepting flood victims."
"They give the voucher, but then there's not enough hotels to provide shelter for those who were affected by the Hurricane Harvey." FOX 26's consumer reporter, Emily Akin said, "Your best bet to
finding a room is to call ahead and if you can, secure it with a deposit. I know that's not always possible. If not, just get there as soon as you can."
As for Tiffany, she's given up on finding a hotel. FEMA has given her rental assistance. finding an affordable apartment could be just as difficult. If you have any consumer stories you want to investigate after Harvey, contact Emily Akin, 713.479.2926 or contact her on Facebook and Twitter at emilyakinfox26