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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NLIHC Staff Available to Comment on Five-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Remaining Recovery Issues
"The federal government has the primary responsibility to provide humanitarian assistance for those displaced during catastrophic disasters. In the case of Hurricane Katrina, there is still much rebuilding of homes and communities that must be done," said NLIHC Senior Vice President for Policy Linda Couch. "At the same time, Congress and the Administration must also plan for recovery following future disasters in a way that meets the needs of all displaced persons, especially members of vulnerable populations."
NLIHC applauds the Obama Administration's stated commitment to rebuilding Katrina-affected communities. However, much work remains. To assist in the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast region, NLIHC calls on Congress and the Administration to:
- Increase federal oversight of Gulf Coast recovery programs to ensure that funds are distributed in an equitable, non-discriminatory manner. In too many cases, low income people and people of color have not been able to rely on local governments for fair treatment.
- Oppose rescinding resources allocated to disaster recovery. A recent House-passed supplemental spending bill would have rescinded more than $500 million in Gulf Coast recovery funds to pay for spending included in its bill; following opposition from advocates, the rescission was not included in the Senate's bill or the final bill.
- Designate additional disaster recovery funding solely for the redevelopment of housing affordable to households with extremely low incomes, including public and assisted housing, to be administered through HUD's HOME program. Designate funds for the state of Alabama to undergo an assessment of critical housing needs.
- Require one‐for‐one replacement of all damaged or destroyed public and assisted housing units, and a right to return for former residents.
- Enact legislation to solve two issues with Gulf Opportunity (GO) Zone tax credits: extension of the placed‐in‐service deadline and inclusion in the Tax Credit Exchange Program (TCEP).
To better facilitate the recovery efforts of future disasters, NLIHC calls on Congress and the Administration to amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) in a number of ways, including to:
- Provide pre‐disaster mitigation assistance for people with the lowest incomes to prepare their homes to better withstand future disasters,
- Establish a post‐disaster rental repair program that helps communities quickly respond to housing needs in future disasters, and
- Require future disaster recovery housing funds to be administered through HUD's HOME program.
complete list of NLIHC's recommendations is available at: http://www.nlihc.org/doc/Gulf-