Families denied Hurricane Dolly assistance finally receive some financial relief. On friday at a celebratory press conference, LUPE members eligible to benefit from the settlement received a check from FEMA, after the agency denied their disaster assistance application.
In 2008, LUPE filed a lawsuit on behalf of the members against Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) LUPE was represented by attorneys from Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc.. After an eight-year legal battle, LUPE homeowners are finally receiving federal disaster recovery assistance from Hurricane Dolly.
In February 2017, a federal court in Brownsville ruled in favor of LUPE and against FEMA. Now some LUPE members and their families will finally see the assistance they applied for and should have received following Hurricane Dolly.
Claudia Garcia, a LUPE members from Mission, TX whose family was denied disaster assistance, recalls, “I remember my entire family sitting against the wall trying to hold it up through the storm. It is one of my most terrifying memories. Then FEMA basically told us that they couldn’t help us because we were poor and our house was ugly. Winning this lawsuit is redemption.”
FEMA has so far gotten away with this discrimination because it used secret rules to decide who was eligible for disaster assistance, which violates federal law.
This victory could have not been possible without your continued support over the past eight year of litigation. Consider making a contribution as we embark on another lawsuit against FEMA for the flooding that took place in 2015 in the Rio Grande Valley and various counties in Texas.