Harvey survivors in west Houston say they were denied FEMA rental assistance because of their income

HOUSTON— West Houston residents still recovering from Harvey are saying that FEMA is denying them rental assistance because they make too much money.

"It's just wrong to deny people rental assistance based on their means," said Jennifer McKnight a flood victim pushing for her community members to get financial help from FEMA.

McKnight says FEMA is denying them because their housing costs are 30 percent or less of their household income and although their paycheck stubs may seem high they say with their new recovery living expenses, their income is not what it seems.

"What we're asking for is relief for rental assistance because we're paying that mortgage or we're trying to, and absent some help from the government these folks are going to end up having to file for bankruptcy," said lawyer Colleen Root, representing a group of residents brought together by McKnight.

" If FEMA doesn't do the right thing on their own accord which is not have rental assistance, then i want to see the bill passed and in the house and in the senate and enacted to be law," said McKnight.

She may get her wish!

The bill that she's talking about is H.R. 4930, The Disaster Assistance Rental Fairness Act for Harvey survivors introduced by Congressman John Culberson.

He says FEMA should follow the Stafford Disaster Assistance Act that guarantees disaster relief to all citizens.

"I have filed this bill, to force FEMA to follow current law and reimburse everyone who was flooded, regardless of income for the cost of the mortgage and your rent that we have all paid taxes into the treasury for," said Culberson.

We reached out to FEMA and they told Newsfix that they don't respond to proposed legislation.

The congressman says his bill could be on the presidents desk this week. If signed by President Trump, the bill provides enough money to fix the Addicks Reservoir, Brays Bayou and other flood projects.