Hurricane Ivan had unearthed poverty in Cayman, MLA Lucille Seymour told Finance Committee
It had taken people out of their jobs, wrecked their homes and created pressing needs, she said.
And governments over the years had paid little attention to the vulnerable, she claimed on Thursday.
The George Town MLA made the remarks after hearing Director of Children and Family services Deanna Look Loy tell the committee about the acute housing problem in Cayman.
There were few places to rent and rent was often astronomical, said Mrs. Look Loy.
The department limited people to $850 a month but there was hardly anyone renting out at that kind of figure, she told the committee.
She said the department also had to use caution because there were some people who wanted to take advantage.
It had to be made sure that people being helped were worthy of assistance.
One woman, who had bought a $20,000 car, came for assistance because she had nowhere to live after falling out with family members. They had had to put her up in a hotel, said Mrs. Look Loy.
The department wanted to help the people who were really in need and had to look out for the opportunists, she told the committee.