The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Taylor Materio 202-662-1530 x227;

NLIHC Staff Available to Comment on Five-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Remaining Recovery Issues


the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches on August 29, staff of
the National Low Income Housing Coalition are available to talk to members of
the media about remaining recovery needs in the Gulf Coast region and the
continuing obligation of the federal government to lead recovery efforts for
this and future disasters.

"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."

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    recent House-passed supplemental spending bill would have rescinded more than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).

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,
  • Require
    future disaster recovery housing funds to be administered through HUD's HOME

complete list of NLIHC's recommendations is available at:

The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to ending America's affordable housing crisis. Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, NLIHC educates, organizes and advocates to ensure decent, affordable housing within healthy neighborhoods for everyone. NLIHC provides up-to-date information, formulates policy and educates the public on housing needs and the strategies for solutions.