ACORN held a series of press conferences today in which it called for FEMA to submit a plan to comply with last week's federal ruling that found the agency unconstitutionally cut off housing aid to Hurricane Katrina and Rita survivors. The press conferences took place in Washington, New Orleans and Houston.

On Tuesday, FEMA filed a motion to appeal the decision, but the agency remains under court order to resume the aid. The same day, ACORN's attorneys filed a motion with Judge Richard Leon asking him to order FEMA to produce a compliance plan. A national community organization based in New Orleans, ACORN has organized thousands of displaced Katrina survivors into local chapters.

"FEMA is still under a court order restore the housing support they illegally terminated," Wanda Jones, a Katrina survivor and ACORN member in Houston whose housing assistance was terminated last summer, said in an ACORN press release. "They haven't moved to do so yet -- even though more families are now facing eviction as December rents come due."

ACORN's action comes as New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin tells USA Today that the federal government has abandoned its legal obligation to help his city recover from Hurricane Katrina's devastation.

The federal court ordered the housing aid restored retroactively, which means affected families are supposed to receive checks for payments due from Sept. 1 to now. The assistance is supposed to continue until February 2007, or until FEMA gives adequate notice of why it cut off the aid. The ruling affects 11,000 families, most of them in Texas and Louisiana.

Public Citizen has also asked a federal judge to force FEMA to comply with the court order. On Aug. 29, the organization filed the lawsuit over the assistance cutoff on behalf of ACORN and hurricane evacuees. The suit asked the court to order FEMA to continue benefits for evacuees until the agency provided constitutionally sufficient notice of why the benefits were being denied, what steps they could take to fix the situation, and how to appeal the decisions.

Denial letters sent by FEMA informed evacuees only of their ineligibility for benefits, followed by an obscure computer code or phrase representing the reason but with no explanation of the code or why the decision had been made.