Time is running out for Ike refugees who have been getting their hotel bills paid by FEMA. Soon they'll have to leave Austin, or Dallas, or wherever and head back to Galveston.
Where, they will find, there are no hotel rooms.
Complaints have been reaching city council that the hotels that are open on the island are filled with contractors. Residents whose homes are uninhabitable are out of luck.
Roschelle Gaskins of the Galveston convention bureau tells Hair Balls that the island hotels are indeed full, but not all the rooms are going to workers.
"Some of the hotels have kept space for residents," she says. "It depends on the hotel and what they're considering as their business."
Which means, we guess, whether the hotels see part of their business as being good neighbors helping out fellow Galvestonians, or just taking whoever's money is greenest.
"At the beginning, a lot of the hotels were 100 percent contractors, but now some are 50-50," Gaskins says.
This weekend the island hosted 1,200 visitors for a convention at Moody Gardens. Those rooms were booked in advance, she says, so any contractors (or residents!) who had been staying there had to find temporary (temporary) digs.
-- Richard Connelly
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.