HUD No. 05-133
September 27, 2005
BERNARDI TELLS HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE: HUD IS MOVING QUICKLY TO PROVIDE HOMES AND HOPE TO HURRICANE VICTIMS
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi told a House Appropriations Subcommittee today that HUD is playing a central role in creating both temporary and permanent housing solutions to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast Region. In testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development, Bernardi said HUD's response is unprecedented in the 40-year history of the Department.
Bernardi outlined HUD's efforts to assist thousands of displaced families including: Providing up to 18 months of rental assistance to displaced families; cutting regulatory red tape to help local communities spend existing federal funding; developing long-term housing solutions; and, working with local officials to develop a far-reaching recovery strategy.
As the chairman of the White House Katrina Task Force on Housing and Relocation Policy, Bernardi testified that HUD's aggressive response is unlike anything HUD has undertaken in the past.
"The devastation visited upon those in the Gulf Region has broken our hearts," said Bernardi. "But HUD is moving aggressively toward finding a temporary home for those without a home of their own and we will work tirelessly with our local partners to bring hope and healing to our neighbors to the South."
Bernardi offered details of HUD's ambitious new program to provide up to 18 months of temporary rental housing to tens of thousands of families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. HUD and a network of local public housing authorities will jointly administer the Katrina Disaster Housing Assistance Program. Through this program, displaced families will decide where they would like to move. Upon arriving in their new community, the evacuated family will meet with the local public housing authority that would help them to find a suitable place to live.
No matter their income, families will be given a rental subsidy based on 100 percent of Fair Market Rent in that community. Eligible families include displaced public housing residents; Section 8 voucher holders; other HUD-assisted households; and, pre-disaster homeless individuals who were directly affected by the hurricane.
Meanwhile, HUD and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are working closely at the Joint Housing Solutions Center in Baton Rouge to develop other approaches to meeting the unprecedented housing needs of persons and families uprooted from their homes.
A complete copy of today's testimony can be found on HUD's website.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.